Royals right-hander Yordano Ventura assembled his best back-to-back outings of the season earlier this month, two starts that included 15 strikeouts and just one run allowed.
His next few trips to the mound came without hitters at the plate. An eight-game suspension — stemming from his part in a benches-clearing brawl in Baltimore — limited Ventura to simulated games and side sessions for the last week.
He will rejoin the Royals rotation Tuesday, opposing Cardinals right-hander Michael Wacha.
Royals manager Ned Yost said Ventura will not be on an altered pitch count in his return from the suspension, which caused Ventura to skip one turn in the rotation.
“Eight games is not that huge of a layoff,” Yost said. “We’re going to face that a lot when we come back after the All-Star break.
“We tried to provide an opportunity where (Ventura) could face some hitters. He threw 30 pitches, threw all his pitches. It was just regular work.”
Ventura was suspended for beaning Baltimore shortstop Manny Machado, prompting Machado to charge the mound.
He returns Tuesday to a 6-4 record and 4.54 earned run average. In his last two starts, he has allowed only one run over 13 1/3 innings pitched.