After last night’s dominant performance by Johnny Cueto, the Kansas City Royals were hoping for the same from Yordano Ventura. Expected to be the Royals ace at the start of the season, he just has not delivered upon that promise, as his struggles and inconsistencies have continued for much of this season. However, tonight against the Detroit Tigers, Ventura showed glimpses of what the Royals had been hoping for in their 6-1 victory.
Kansas City took the pressure off of Ventura almost immediately. Using their patented two out offense, Lorenzo Cain singled before Eric Hosmer followed by belting a line drive into the Royals bullpen to give Kansas City a quick 2-0 lead.
The Tigers had a prime opportunity to cut into that lead in the top of the second, loading the bases with one out. Here, Ventura showed the poise that he had displayed during the Royals postseason run last year, striking out Jefry Marte and getting a groundout to end the threat.
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Detroit had another chance to cut into the Royals lead in the fourth. Tyler Collins singled with one out, and was erased on a fielder’s choice. Marte, looking to atone for his bases loaded strikeout, lined a double to deep left. Jarrod Dyson made a perfect throw to Alcides Escobar, who fired home to cut down James McCann at the plate, preserving the shutout.
The Royals put some breathing room between them and the Tigers in the sixth. Lorenzo Cain led off the inning by crushing Anibal Sanchez‘ offering deep to left for a solo home run, and, with one out, Mike Moustakas ended Sanchez’ night by hammering a handing breaking ball into the Pepsi Porch, giving the Royals a 5-0 lead.
The Tigers managed to put a run on the board in the seventh by way of a sacrifice fly, but the Royals got that run back as Moustakas hit a soft line drive to right for an RBI single, giving the Royals a 6-1 lead. That would prove to be the final margin, as the Royals have taken the first two games of their four game set with Detroit.
Ventura, while not exactly dominant, managed to work through trouble. He pitched six scoreless innings, allowing two hits and six walks while striking out eight. Even with the control issues, this was a positive step forward.
Cain finished a triple shy of the cycle, going 4-4 with two runs scored and an RBI. Moustakas was 2-4 with three RBI and a run scored in the victory.