Ventura finds groove in post-break hot streak

Royals righty spins 7th straight start of 3 runs or less

Ventura finds groove in post-break hot streak

MINNEAPOLIS -- While the talk lately about the Royals' starters has centered mainly on left-hander Danny Duffy -- and deservedly so -- another hurler is quietly coming around as well.

Right-hander Yordano Ventura handcuffed the Twins on four hits and three runs through seven innings on Friday night as the Royals prevailed, 7-3, in the series opener.

Make that seven straight starts for Ventura giving up three runs or less.

Afterward, as manager Ned Yost sat in his office, he beamed about another quality start from Ventura.

"There was a lot to like," Yost said. "He had seven strong innings. Made a mistake to [Brian] Dozier, opened up a little on a breaking ball and it was down and in, and Dozier hit the two-run homer. But everything was in control. He did a good job with his pitch count. Really good breaking ball, good changeup for the most part. He stayed within himself really well. Nice performance."

Ventura threw 105 pitches to get through seven. His fastball was still hitting 100 mph in the seventh.

"Somebody told me that," Ventura said of the velocity. "That felt good.

"I had good location, good velocity."

Ventura said he leaned on his curveball on Friday, and that pitch helped him get nine strikeouts.

"My curveball was better than my changeup," Ventura said.

Ventura gave up the homer to Dozier and one to Miguel Sano, who powered an inside fastball into the left-field seats.

"That was a good pitch," Royals catcher Salvador Perez said. "Inside fastball sinking and [Sano] hit it out."

Ventura simply tipped his cap to Sano.

"I made a good pitch," Ventura said. "He made a better swing."

But for the most part, the Twins had few scoring chances. They did get two on with two out in the sixth, but Ventura struck out Eddie Rosario for the third straight time to end the threat.

"He was pretty good tonight," Perez said of Ventura. "He had really good stuff."

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.