Royals get boost as Ventura gives ace effort

Royals get boost as Ventura gives ace effort

KANSAS CITY -- On the day when the Royals acquired right-hander Johnny Cueto, right-hander Yordano Ventura stepped up and pitched like Cueto, who also happens to be a fellow Dominican that Ventura has always looked up to.

"I feel that the acquisition is really good for the team," Ventura said through interpreter Rene Francisco. "He's a veteran who pitches deep into the game. I look up to him because he's from the Dominican and I followed his career. I'm happy he'll be here."

On Sunday, though, Ventura showed again how good he can be -- seven innings, six hits, one run, no walks and five strikeouts in the Royals' 5-1 win over the Astros.

Yost on Good Series and Cueto

"That's the Yordano from last year," manager Ned Yost said.

Ventura could sense it, too.

"The two things that helped today was that I attacked the hitters and I threw inside," he said. "I feel I pitched similar to last year. But we're still in the midway part of the year. I feel like I'm getting a little rhythm. My confidence was better today because I could locate my pitches. It's a big boost."

After being sent down to the Minors on Tuesday, but immediately recalled from Triple-A Omaha the next day to replace the injured Jason Vargas, Ventura could have suffered from lack of confidence.

"It's always a letdown when you go down, but I got back right away," he said. "I think I can help them through the season and in the postseason if we make it."

Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.