Royals rely on fiery Ventura in Cleveland
(SportsNetwork.com) - Yordano Ventura will try to get through a start without inciting a benches clearing brawl on Wednesday when the Kansas City Royals try to complete a three-game sweep of the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field.
Ventura has been ejected from his past two starts and is currently appealing a seven-game suspension for his part in the fracas with the Chicago White Sox last week.
The fiery right-hander, who was also in the center of incidents with the Los Angeles Angels and Oakland Athletics, is winless in his last two starts and is 2-1 on the year with a 4.09 ERA. He did not get a decision on Thursday in Chicago, as he allowed a pair of runs and five hits in seven innings before being thrown out of the game.
Ventura snared a comebacker from Chicago's Adam Eaton in that one and yelled an expletive at the White Sox outfielder before tossing the ball to first base. Both teams immediately emptied their benches, with a few punches being thrown prior to order being eventually restored after several minutes.
"When I fielded the comebacker it put me off balance and I took those steps," said Ventura through interpreter Jeremy Guthrie. "I guess that incited [Eaton] and he said something and I responded back emotionally. I wish it wouldn't have happened like that."
Ventura has faced the Tribe five times and is a perfect 3-0 against them with a 1.57 ERA.
Cleveland, meanwhile, will turn to an impressive young hurler of its own in righty Danny Salazar, who has won both of his starts and has allowed two runs or less in each outing, while striking out 21 batters in 13 innings.
Salazar beat the Detroit Tigers on Friday, as he limited them to a run and six hits in seven innings. He also fanned 11.
"Everything (was working)," Salazar said. "Changeup down. Fastball down. Elevating the fastball whenever I wanted. Working the game on the same page with (catcher Roberto) Perez. The defense was awesome. The offense was unbelievable."
Salazar is the first Indians pitcher to have consecutive double-digit strikeout showings in his first two April starts since 1970 (Sam McDowell).
Kansas City won its second straight game on Tuesday, as Kendrys Morales capped a six-run seventh inning with a three-run homer in the Royals' 11-5 win.
"There are a lot of things he can do," Royals manager Ned Yost said of Morales. "He understands what he has to do when he gets in the box,"
Cleveland got to Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie to the tune of four runs in five-plus innings. Michael Bourn plated two with his single to right in the second, and Guthrie was responsible for the two men on base for Brandon Moss' home run off Brandon Finnegan (1-0).
Trevor Bauer yielded a season-high three runs on seven hits over six innings for the Indians. The young right-hander had only given up two runs in 19 innings in his first three starts of the season.
"It was a tough night," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Nobody is going to feel sorry for us, so we have to get better."
The Indians have lost four straight and at 6-13 own the worst record in the AL. They've also dropped to 1-6 at home for their worst start since opening 1-7 in 1991.
Cleveland was 10-9 versus the Royals last season. However, the Royals haven't swept a three-game set at Progressive since June of 2003.