Ventura reached that milestone with relative ease at Minute Maid
Park on Tuesday, stifling the Houston Astros 4-2 to lead the Royals
to their first road win.
Ventura (1-0) made his season debut a week ago against the Tampa Bay
Rays and did not factor in the decision despite working a
career-high six innings. In his second start of 2014, he allowed two
runs (one earned), four hits and three walks while striking out
seven over seven innings.
His fastball was not otherworldly but it was plenty electric. The
same went for his change-up and a curveball that was effective when
"I'm just really proud for him because that was like his fifth time
he's gone for his first win and he's had an opportunity to win
ballgames two or three times and we couldn't hold it for him,"
Royals manager Ned Yost said of Ventura. "To finally get that out of
the way for him, to get his first major league win was big for all
of us tonight."
His 101st pitch came against Astros center fielder Dexter Fowler,
who represented the go-ahead run with teammates on first and second.
Ventura induced Fowler to weakly tap a change-up to first baseman
Eric Hosmer, preserving a two-run lead that his bullpen protected.
Right-handers Wade Davis and Greg Holland each worked a perfect
inning of relief for the Royals (5-7). Davis struck out a pair of
batters while Holland struck out the side to record his fourth save
"I feel really good," Ventura said. "I feel that the team supported
me and played really good defense and scored a lot of runs for me.
It gives me a lot of satisfaction so I can keep working hard to help
the team win."
The Astros (5-9) scored two or fewer runs in eight of their losses.
"We're going to have to get some offense going," Astros manager Bo
Porter said. "Regardless of how well you pitch, how well you play
defense, the name of the game is whoever scores the most runs wins.
If you're struggling to score runs, you're going to have a hard time
Ventura gifted the Astros a run in the first inning when, with
Fowler on third, he uncorked an errant throw attempting to pick off
Jason Castro at first. The unearned run allowed Houston to pull
even, but with Astros right-hander Lucas Harrell struggling, the
deadlock was short-lived.
The Royals scratched across two runs in the third to surge ahead
3-1. Second baseman Omar Infante, whose one-out solo home run gave
Kansas City a 1-0 lead in the first, scored on a Hosmer RBI double
after Lorenzo Cain came home when Infante reached on a fielder's
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Kansas City tacked on its final run in the fifth inning, loading the
bases against Harrell with one out before designated hitter Billy
Butler delivered a sacrifice fly to right, scoring right fielder
Harrell (0-3) departed trailing 4-1. He surrendered five hits and
three walks while striking out four in five laborious innings,
although that innings count represented a season high through three
"I've got to get strike one," Harrell said. "Through my first 10
hitters, I threw one first-pitch strike. That can't happen. I need
to throw strikes in 1-1 counts, too, because that really killed me
NOTES: Astros manager Bo Porter indicated that RHP Scott Feldman
should be activated from the bereavement list in time to start the
series finale against the Royals on Thursday. Feldman did not get a
decision despite pitching seven scoreless innings on Friday night
against the Texas Rangers. He was placed on the bereavement list
Saturday to attend funeral services for his father, who died last
week after a lengthy bout with brain cancer. ... With a one-out solo
shot in the first inning, Royals 2B Omar Infante delivered the
Royals' second home run this season. He was a likely candidate to
click considering he entered Tuesday 5-for-6 with an RBI in his
career against Astros RHP Lucas Harrell. ... Harrell snapped the
Houston rotation's stretch of four consecutive starts in seven
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