Ventura roughed up early but bails out bullpen

Royals ace allows career-high 10 hits, takes 3rd straight loss

Ventura roughed up early but bails out bullpen

ARLINGTON -- Royals starter Yordano Ventura had a learning moment in the bottom of the first in Wednesday's 5-2 loss to the Rangers.

First batter. Sixth pitch to Rangers outfielder Shin-Soo Choo. Sixth fastball to Choo. Choo, ready for it, hammered a 391-foot home run to right field. It was the first of two key mistakes for the 23-year-old right-hander -- he also allowed a backbreaking two-run homer to Prince Fielder on a hanging curveball in the second inning to put the Royals behind, 4-0.

In a start that began wobbly and actually turned into one that helped the bullpen and ultimately may help Kansas City during this long season, the Royals hope Ventura takes important lessons learned and moves forward.

Ventura, in good spirits after the game, seemed to want that.

"I'm learning," said Ventura, who allowed a career-high 10 hits and whose record fell to 2-3 with a 5.36 ERA. "I just need to keep making adjustments."

Royals manager Ned Yost thought that Ventura didn't mix it up enought to Choo, considered a good fastball hitter. Ventura also shook off his catcher, one of the American League's best, Salvador Perez.

"Sal called for a breaking ball," Yost said. "It's always the pitcher's choice. [Yordano] has got a dynamite curveball and he's got a dynamite changeup. He has a couple of options he can go to. He had a lot of confidence in his fastball right there. Six in a row to a good fastball hitter is quite a few."

Ventura said he wasn't trying to avoid the curveball, that he just had a feel for a fastball.

"I felt good in the bullpen," Ventura said. "I felt like if I made a good pitch with my fastball, that wouldn't have happened."

It was a bad news, good news start for Ventura. The bad being the bullpen was stirring in the first inning after the first five Rangers reached base, starting with Choo's rocket of a home run.

The good was that Ventura made it through seven innings, and Yost only needed to use Kelvin Herrera for one inning, and he needed the work badly after serving a six-game suspension that ended Tuesday.

"I thought [Ventura] really settled down after the second inning," Yost said.

Ventura had a chance to keep the Royals really close in the second. He allowed a leadoff single to No. 9 hitter Delino DeShields -- who was 3-for-3 against Ventura -- and Choo followed with a single to put runners at first and third.

Ventura then got Elvis Andrus to ground into a 5-4-3 double play, keeping DeShields at third in the process. With a chance for the Royals to sneak out of the inning down only 2-0, Ventura gave up a 423-foot, two-run homer to Fielder.

"There were a couple of mistakes I made early," Ventura said. "I just need to continue to work hard, make adjustments and continue to get better."

Todd Wills is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.