Ventura struggles in Royals 8-3 loss to Twins

Ed Zurga

Alternate Headline: Twins extinguish Ventura's fire

Yordano Ventura looked mortal for the first time this year, getting roughed up for 4 runs on 6 hits over 4 innings in the Royals 8-3 loss to the Twins.

Minnesota jumped on Ventura early in the game. Brian Dozier led off with a single, then Joe Mauer drew a walk. Trevor Plouffe followed with a two-run double to right center, easily handling a 1-1 fastball.

The 22-year-old hurt himself with walks, issuing four, and some self-induced error. Ventura gave Aaron Hicks to free bases in the top of the fourth; Hicks advanced to second on a botched pickoff throw, later advancing to third on a wild pitch. Hicks eventually scored on an Eduardo Escobar single.

Yost pulled Ventura in the top of the fifth after the starter surrendered a leadoff triple to Plouffe and a RBI single to Chris Colabello. Louis Coleman relieved Ventura, allowing a solo blast to Josmil Pinto later in the inning for the Twin fifth run of the game.

Phil Hughes kept the Royals off the board until the fifth inning. Alcides Escobar slapped a leadoff double, scoring on an one-out, Omar Infate single. Eric Hosmer followed with a single to put runners on the corners, but the Royals rally ended after Salvador Perez grounded into a double play. Perez hit the ball well up the middle, but Dozier made a fantastic diving play, then made an impressive flip to Escobar to kill the threat.

Justin Marks made his major-league debut in the sixth inning, tossing a scoreless frame. Yost sent Marks back out in the eighth, and Minnesota added three more runs to their lead. The Twins collected two singles, two doubles and two walks in the inning.

Kansas City chased Hughes in the top of the seventh with two more runs. Justin Maxwell led off the inning with a single, then Escobar jumped over a first-pitch fastball from Hughes, smashing the pitch into the left field bullpen for his fist homer of the year. The Royals, however, scored zero runs against Brian Duensing, Casey Fien and Glen Perkins.

The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for KC. Brett Hayes also made an appearance, catching the final two innings but not receiving a plate appearance.

The Royals will hit the road next, beginning a four-game series Monday night on the against the Cleveland Indians. Jeremy Guthrie will take the hill for the good guys, facing off against Zach McAllister.

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