A day after Johnny Cueto, the Kansas City Royals imported ace, was battered for the second consecutive start, the Royals sent their expected ace to the mound in Yordano Ventura. Ventura pitched like the ace they thought he would be this season, striking out eleven in the Royals 5-3 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.
Baltimore had the first real chance to get on the board in the top of the third. With two outs, Paul Janish singled and moved to second when Chris Davis walked. After a wild pitch moved the runners to second and third, Ventura struck out Matt Wieters to end the threat.
The Royals offense got going in the bottom of the fourth. Mike Moustakas led off the inning with a double, and scored on Salvador Perez‘ base hit. Alex Rios followed with a double to put runners on second and third. Paulo Orlando‘s sacrifice fly scored Perez and moved Rios to third, but Orioles starter Chris Tillman was able to escape further trouble, keeping the Royals with a 2-0 advantage.
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Kansas City added runs in the fifth and sixth innings. With runners on first and second in the fifth, Moustakas singled to right to plate another run and put runners at the corners with one out. Perez grounded into a double play to end that threat, but Orlando homered in the following inning to give the Royals a 4-0 lead through six.
The Orioles got on the board in the top of the seventh with Ryan Flaherty greeted Kelvin Herrera by blasting a home run to right, but a two out RBI single from Moustakas kept the Royals lead at four. That held up until the ninth, when Greg Holland made the game interesting once again, as he allowed an RBI double to Caleb Joseph and a run scoring single to Manny Machado with two outs. However, Holland was able to bounce back to get Gerardo Parra to ground out to end the game, preserving the Kansas City Royals 5-3 victory.
The story of the game was Yordano Ventura, who allowed two hits and four walks in his six innings, striking out a career high eleven to earn the win. While it would be ideal to see a bit more command from Ventura, this is the sort of outing that the Royals had been expecting this season.
Moustakas was 3-4 with a double, two RBI and a run scored in the victory.