In the Royals’ final tune-up of the spring, Yordano Ventura and Jeremy Guthrie stumbled in a 7-2 loss to Milwaukee on Saturday.
The Royals finished spring training with a 12-15-2 record. They split this two-game set at Miller Park. The season begins Monday afternoon in Detroit.
Ventura offered his most erratic performance of the spring. He struck out five, but gave up three runs on four hits, two walks and two wild pitches in three innings. He could not command his off-speed pitches, and the Brewers tagged his fastballs.
“Fought his command all day long,” manager Ned Yost said. “With older pitchers, you have days when you’ve really got your good stuff, and days when you’ve got to really battle through without your good stuff.
“Well, he’s always going to have his good stuff. His battle days are going to be with command. And it was today like that.”
Guthrie took the mound in the fifth and delivered four innings of three-run baseball. He served up a solo homer to minor-leaguer Michael Ratterree in the seventh. In the eighth, outfielder Logan Schafer ripped a two-run single.
“I thought he threw the ball OK,” Yost said. “His command was good. He was working on executing his pitches.”
Ventura looked shaky from the beginning. He gave up a first-inning run. Infielder Scooter Gennett and former National League MVP Ryan Braun notched a pair of groundball singles.
Up came third baseman Aramis Ramirez. Ventura spiked a curveball in the dirt, and both runners advanced. Gennett scored on a groundout by Ramirez. Braun moved up again when Ventura bounced another curveball for another wild pitch, but he recovered to escape without allowing further damage.
He was not as fortunate in the third inning. Ventura walked Schafer on seven pitches. Two batters later, Ramirez lined a 99-mph fastball to right to put runners at the corners.
Both scored when catcher Jonathan Lucroy turned on another 99-mph heater.
Milwaukee picked up another run off reliever Francisley Bueno in the fourth. Bueno walked the opposing pitcher, Marco Estrada, then uncorked a wild pitch to give up second base. Schafer plated Estrada with a single.
• The Royals received a small scare in the bottom of the fourth. A foul tip caught catcher Salvador Perez on the left hand. Yost and trainer Nick Kenney tended to him on the field, but Perez shook off the duo and remained in the game.