Opinion

Yordano Ventura returns to mound for Royals to face Texas Rangers

Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Yordano Ventura returns to the mound against the Texas Rangers on Monday.
Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Yordano Ventura returns to the mound against the Texas Rangers on Monday. The Kansas City Star

The Royals have overcome far worse than this.

On May 28, after the Astros completed a sweep at Kauffman Stadium, the club was four games under .500 and 6 ½ games behind Detroit. The Royals claimed first place on June 17.

On July 21, after Kansas City dropped their fourth game in a row, the club was two games under .500 and eight games behind Detroit. The Royals claimed first place again on Aug. 11.

Now, in the wake of a likely sweep by Cleveland (barring something miraculous when the third game resumes on Sept. 22 at Progressive Field), the Royals find themselves in yet another hole. This one looks far more appealing, though: They are still in first place. They still have plenty of time to reach the playoffs.

And the worst team in baseball is coming to town. The Texas Rangers could be the antidote for what ails the Royals.

Yordano Ventura returns to the mound on Monday. He missed his last start due to soreness in his upper back.

Here are the pitching matchups for this three-game series:

Monday, 7:10 p.m.: Yordano Ventura (10-9, 3.40 ERA) vs. Colby Lewis (9-11, 5.44 ERA)

Tuesday, 7:10 p.m.: Jeremy Guthrie (10-10, 4.43 ERA) vs. Derek Holland (0-0, 0.00 ERA).

Wednesday, 7:10 p.m.: Jason Vargas (10-7, 3.27 ERA) vs. Nick Tepesch (4-8, 4.44 ERA)

HOSMER, OMAHA HEADED TO PLAYOFFS

Eric Hosmer hit a home run and also collected a walk in his second rehabilitation game for Class AAA Omaha. The Storm Chasers won their division and earned a playoff birth on Sunday. So Hosmer has a chance to receive more at-bats. Ned Yost estimated Hosmer needed 15 to 20. He has had 11 plate appearances in two games.

FROM THE STAR

A late-night storm suspended what would have been — and likely still will be — another crushing Royals loss.

Brandon Finnegan, Terrance Gore and Lane Adams are all getting called up for September. Finnegan could stabilize the team’s bullpen.

THE ROYALS’ PLAYOFF PERCENTAGE (ACCORDING TO BASEBALL PROSPECTUS)

56.5 percent.

THE LEAD ON DETROIT IN THE AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL

0.5 games.

HERE IS SOME ROCK MUSIC

“Zoltar Speaks” by Neck Deep.

To reach Andy McCullough, call 816-234-4370 or send email to rmccullough@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @McCulloughStar.

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