Yordano Ventura was magnificent in his first start since his involvement in a brawl in Baltimore, throwing seven innings with a season-high ten strikeouts in a 3-1 Royals win to take the series in Chicago. The Royals have now won seven of their nine contests against the White Sox and improve to 32-30. The win was also Ned Yost's 500th win as Royals manager, to go against 499 losses.
Ventura was sharp all day, striking out the side in the second and allowing just one walk and five hits all afternoon. His only mistake was allowing a solo home run to Jose Abreu in the sixth, the eighth of the season for the struggling slugger. Ventura would last seven efficient innings of work with just 91 pitches.
Yordano Ventura is the second @Royals pitcher ever to record 10 SO on 91 pitchers or fewer, joining Danny Duffy, who did it yesterday.— Nick Kappel (@NickKappel) June 12, 2016
Danny Duffy & Yordano Ventura are first @Royals starters w/ 10 SO in back-to-back games since July 24-25, 2009 (Grienke & Hochevar).— Nick Kappel (@NickKappel) June 12, 2016
The Royals bats looked good against White Sox lefty Carlos Rodon early on, although they wasted some opportunities by giving away outs. Whit Merrifield led the game off with a double, and advanced to third on Alcides Escobar's sacrifice bunt. Kendrys Morales, hitting from the right side, would drive him home with an RBI single to make it 1-0 Royals. Paulo Orlando looked like successfully stole second base the next inning, but he was called out, which was confirmed by the replay official. Nevertheless, the Royals added another run on back-to-back-to-back singles by Cheslor Cuthbert, Christian Colon, and Whit Merrfield. The threat was quickly ended however when Colon was caught trying to steal third and Alcides Escobar struck out the inning.
Kelvin Herrera pitched a scoreless eighth and Salvador Perez added an insurance run with a solo home run, his ninth home run of the year. The Royals might have added another run, but Cheslor Cuthbert was thrown out at home trying to score on Whit Merrifield's third hit of the day. The well-rested Wade Davis shut things down in the ninth for his seventeenth save of the year.
The Royals can thank Chicago for snapping them out of another funk. The way this roller coaster season has gone, this should mean the Royals are due for another hot streak here, and with the Indians in town this week, that could mean a return to first place.