After strong outing, Ventura named No. 3 starter for Royals
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — Yordano Ventura struck out six in six dominant innings, helping the Kansas City Royals beat the Texas Rangers 6-0 on Monday night.
Ventura was consistently throwing 97-99 miles per hour and reaching 100 occasionally. Yost announced after the game the rookie right-hander had made Kansas City’s rotation for the regular season.
“It’s the obvious,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “We’ve been looking at all of our different scenarios. I think we’ve got a rotation now. He’s fit right into that No. 3 spot.
“We knew this was probably the way it was going to go. I think after tonight we’ve seen enough. After an outing like tonight, you kind of look foolish if you try to continue to hold your cards close to your chest.”
Ventura yielded four hits and walked none. In four exhibition games, Ventura has a 1.76 ERA, allowing 10 hits in 15 1/3 innings, striking out 15 and walking none.
“Electric stuff,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “He was in the sixth inning still throwing 100. When he lets it go, it comes out hot.”
Ventura threw 48 strikes in 73 pitches.
Danny Duffy, who lost the final rotation vacancy to Ventura, will be considered for a bullpen spot. “We’re going to give him that opportunity. Starting (today) he will pitch out the pen,” Yost said. “We’ll go with our 12 best pitchers. He’s got competition from two or three others guys for that spot.”
Mike Moustakas, who leads the Cactus League with a .486 batting average and 15 RBI, doubled home Alex Gordon in a three-run second inning for the Royals. Moustakas went 3-for-3 in the game.
“He’s just smoking the ball,” Yost said. “He’s having a phenomenal spring.”
Royals second baseman Omar Infante was a late scratch with a sore right elbow.
Shortstop Alcides Escobar is recovering from shoulder inflammation and will not play in a major -league game before Saturday.
Yost said Escobar, who has played in only three games, is running “out of time” to be ready for the season opener.
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