Yordano Ventura impresses in second start of the season, Royals win 4-2

Scott Halleran

I could get used to watching this Ventura guy.

Yordano Ventura pitched seven strong innings against the Houston Astros tonight, helping restore my faith in humanity and leading the Royals to a 4-2 victory, snapping their three-game losing streak.

Ventura allowed two runs (one earned) across seven innings, surrendering four hits and three walks while striking out seven. His command wobbled a bit at times, but all the pitchers had to deal with an inconsistent strike zone. Some of his pitches were straight filth; his changeup looked particularly lethal.

The Astros scored their first run of the game thanks to a Ventura error. The starter fired a pickoff throw into rightfield with runners on the corners in the first inning, allowing Jason Castro to score. Ventura also surrendered a solo homer to Carlos Corporan, but otherwise kept the Astros from crossing the plate.

Omar Infante doubled the Royals home run total in the first inning, smacking a solo shot off Lucas Harrell for his first homer of the year. Harrell did not look impressive, leaving fat pitches over the middle of the plate most of the night. The Royals ended up scoring enough to win, but could have really blown out Houston with a better offensive performance.

Kansas City scored two runs in the third, which started with a Lorenzo Cain single. Cain ended up advancing to third when left fielder Robbie Grossman misplayed the ball, letting it roll to the outfield wall. Norichika Aoki drew a one-out walk, followed by Infante hitting into a fielder's choice, forcing Aoki out at second but allowing Cain to score. Eric Hosmer followed with a double off the leftfield wall, easily plating Infante.

The Royals loaded the bases in the fifth, scoring one run in the inning. Aoki cracked a one-out single, then Infante and Hosmer followed with walks. Billy Butler lifted a sacrifice fly to right, which scored Aoki, but Alex Gordon ended the inning with a foulout.

Wade Davis and Greg Holland each pitched a shutout inning in relief of Ventura, combining to strikeout five Astros.

The two teams will meet again Wednesday night in Minute Maid Park at 7:10 p.m. CT. Jeremy Guthrie will take the mound for Kansas City, facing off against Dallas Keuchel. I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that we see less strikeouts tomorrow.

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