Yordano Ventura struck out a career-high eleven hitters over six innings in a 5-3 Royals victory to take the series against the Orioles. The eleven strikeouts were the most by a Royals pitcher since James Shields struck out 12 Astros hitters last April. Ventura allowed just two hits over six shutout innings, walking four. In seven starts since his 24-hour demotion, Ventura is 5-0 with a 3.07 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 46 innings.
Despite resting regulars Eric Hosmer and Lorenzo Cain the Royals in a game delayed over an hour due to rain, the offense managed plenty of firepower. Mike Moustakas continued his torrid hitting with a double in the fourth off Orioles starter Chris Tillman, and would score on an RBI single by Salvador Perez. Alex Rios, who extended his hitting streak to nine with three hits in the game, doubled to send Perez to third. A Paulo Orlando sacrifice fly would plate Salvy to make it 2-0 Royals.
In the fifth, Moose was at it again with an RBI single to score Ben Zobrist. Moose had three hits on the day and is hitting .357/.446/.750 over his last 15 games. Paulo Orlando added a solo home run in the sixth although Ryan Flaherty would answer with a solo home run of his own the next inning. Moose drove in his second run of the day in the seventh to make it a 5-1 lead.
Wade Davis was his usual cyborg self in the eighth with a pair of strikeouts, but Greg Holland faltered a bit in the ninth. A bloop double by Jonathan Schoop turned into a run when Caleb Joseph doubled him home. Manny Machado added another run on a sharp single. But Gerardo Parra grounded out to end the threat and the game, the 78th win for the season for the Royals.
The boys in blue head to St. Petersburg, Florida for three games now 17-8 this month, having won - guess what - 15 of their last 20. It's all coming together.