KANSAS CITY -- Royals right-hander Yordano Ventura was already going to be an option for a potential Game 4 of the American League Division Series against the Astros on Monday (1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1), and with a start shortened by rain in Thursday night's 5-2 Game 1 loss, manager Ned Yost said he'll likely get the call.
Ventura went two innings, allowing three runs on four hits and a walk with two strikeouts, before a 49-minute rain delay. The righty struggled early, loading the bases with nobody out in the first. Colby Rasmus and Evan Gattis had back-to-back RBI groundouts before Jose Altuve tacked on a two-out RBI single in the second for the Astros.
"We'll probably bring him back now," Yost said. "He only threw  pitches. ... I told [pitching coach] Dave [Eiland], 'Look, the best thing to do here instead of pushing him is let's just go ahead.' That's why we had Chris Young [for] long [relief] in these types of situations."
Young took over when play resumed in the third, and he struck out the side in both the third and fourth innings.
"Young's got that incredible deception," Yost said. "He's 6-foot-10, he's got a great slider, he's got that 88-mph fastball that's hard to see and hard to hit. So we like Chris Young on the mound right now."
Ventura now has a 3.95 ERA in six postseason appearances, including five starts.
"I'm ready whenever the team needs me," Ventura said through a translator. "I'll be ready to go."
Ventura said he was told he wasn't coming back out shortly before the end of the rain delay, and he said that while he was frustrated he couldn't go deeper into the game, the rain delay was out of his control. He added the Astros had a good plan of attack against him early in the game, and he said they were able to jump on his mistakes.
"I felt great," Ventura said. "You have to tip your hat to them. They got me for three. But they were tough -- taking pitches and looking for one pitch. It seemed like when they got that one pitch, they didn't miss it."
Yost said he felt like Ventura was about to settle down before the rain started, but once the delay went past 45 minutes, he believed taking out Ventura was the right decision.
"He was just settling in when it started to rain," Yost said. "He got hurt with his curveball the first inning, two pitches that were up in the zone a little bit. But besides that, he did a nice job of kind of limiting the damage there. It could have been worse. I just felt like he was starting to get in his rhythm when the rain came. That was it."