Yordano Ventura gives up two runs, strikes out two in Royals 5-0 loss to Giants

03/08/2014 5:41 PM

03/08/2014 5:41 PM

Yordano Ventura allowed two runs in three innings of his first Cactus League start in a 5-0 loss to the Giants on Friday. He also struck out two.

“He felt really good even though he gave up two runs,” said Bruce Chen, who translated for Ventura. “He felt like he threw a lot of good pitches. He felt like his arm was very good and his offspeed pitches were working well.”

He struck out Angel Pagan in the first inning on a 98-mph fastball. Two innings later, Pagan flailed over a changeup for another punchout. Ventura used mostly fastballs and changeups, without much curveball usage.

“I thought he was OK,” manager Ned Yost said. “Good stuff. Good fastball. Still kind of struggling to get the feel for secondary pitches for strikes. It’s early, and pitchers develop a feel for that as they go along.”

So Ventura flashed signs of promise, but still got dinged. The Giants manufactured a second-inning run. Michael Morse walked and took second on a single by catcher Hector Sanchez. Two batters later, Morse scored on a sacrifice fly.

In the third, Gregor Blanco crushed a double over Nori Aoki’s head in center. Blanco scored on a single by Tony Abreu.

There was not much to write home about with the offense. The Royals sat Eric Hosmer, Salvador Perez and Mike Moustakas. When a reporter started a question by asking “Offensively …” Yost replied, “Nah.”

“It was just one of those days,” he said.

Arms race

With the loss of Luke Hochevar, the presence of Wade Davis in the team’s bullpen becomes more critical. But he continues to pitch well in his audition for the fifth spot in the rotation.

Davis allowed a run in three innings of work, but struck out three.

“I thought his stuff was really, really good,” Yost said. “Really crisp. He threw the ball well.”

Ventura and Danny Duffy are still considered the two favorites for that job.

Medical updates

Louis Coleman (bruised right middle finger) is scheduled to make his Cactus League debut on Saturday.

Omar Infante (shoulder inflammation) said he feels “better” despite not playing the field in several days. He hopes to return to action on Monday, which was Yost’s intention.

Etc.

Third baseman Mike Moustakas was given the day off on Friday. Instead, he opted to play designated hitter in a minor-league game to work on his two-strike approach. He also acted as the bat boy in the game. Greg Holland threw a scoreless innings against the Rangers farmhands.

Up next

John Lamb will make his first Cactus League start against the Brewers in Maryvalle. The opportunity is a reward for his strong work thus far. Jeremy Guthrie will pitch in a simulated game back at the complex. The game is scheduled to start at 2:05 p.m. Central but will not be broadcast on radio or TV.

Quote

“I’m not asking for more. I’m asking for what I’m worth.”

| Bruce Chen, on his proposed bonuses for continuing to interpret for Yordano Ventura.

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