Thursday in the minors: Ventura fans nine, but suffers hard-luck loss

Despite a strong effort, Yordano Ventura suffered his first defeat of the season Thursday as Class AA Northwest Arkansas lost 2-0 at Arkansas.

Ventura, 3-1, allowed both runs on just three hits in six innings and struck out nine with no walks, but the Naturals were limited to three hits.

Ventura opened the game with two strikeouts, but he gave up three straight doubles that led to Arkansas’ runs. He retired the last 13 batters he faced and the only runner to reach after the first inning came via a hit batsman in the second inning.

High-A Wilmington

Kyle Zimmer gave up five runs in four innings as the Blue Rocks lost 7-4 at Potomac.

Zimmer, the Royals’ top draft pick a year ago, gave up six hits, walked three and struck out five as he fell to 0-3 on the season. His ERA climbed to 4.86.

Jack Lopez opened the game with a double for Wilmington, and after a strikeout, Lane Adams reached on an error. Cheslor Cuthbert hit a sacrifice fly to make it 1-0.

Zimmer gave up a two-run homer in the bottom of the first and the Nationals added a run in the third. The Blue Rocks got a run back in the top of the fourth as Jared Schlehuber doubled, moved to third on a wild pitch and, after an out, scored on Kenny Diekroeger’s grounder. That cut the deficit to 3-2.

But Potomac scored twice in the bottom of the fourth to push the lead to 5-2. Reliever Kellen Moen gave up two unearned runs in the fifth and the Nationals went on to the victory.

Class AAA Omaha

Donnie Joseph struck out Kirk Nieuwenhuis with the bases loaded to end the game and preserve the Storm Chasers’ 5-4 victory against Las Vegas.

Omaha led 6-4 in the top of the ninth, but Andrew Brown opened the inning with a triple off Michael Mariot. Brown scored on a groundout, but Zach Lutz singled and Joseph relieved Mariot and hit Jamie Hoffman with a pitch. After an out, Landon Powell walked to load the bases, but Joseph got out of the jam.

The Storm Chasers trailed 3-1 after three innings, but pulled a run back in the fourth when Paulo Orlando’s bases-loaded single scored Max Ramirez.

In the fifth, Christian Colon opened with a single and Johnny Giavotella doubled. Ramirez’s sacrifice fly scored Colon to tie the game, and Anthony Seratelli singled home Giavotella to give Omaha a 4-3 lead.

Omaha got the all-important insurance run in the eighth when Seratelli doubled with one out, stole third and scored on a Chad Tracy’s ground out.

Justin Marks got the victory despite allowing eight hits and walking five in five innings. He limited the damage to three runs thanks in part to seven strikeouts.