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After strong outing, Ventura named No. 3 starter for Royals

After strong outing, Ventura named No. 3 starter for Royals

March 18th, 2014 in News

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.