Vargas has successful return to Majors

Vargas has successful return to Majors

KANSAS CITY -- Jason Vargas had waited 14 months to step back onto a Major League mound and that made Saturday's start against the White Sox, a 3-2 Royals win, something special.

After recovering from Tommy John surgery, Vargas held his own in a three-inning, 52-pitch stint that launched his comeback in satisfying fashion. Vargas surrendered a run in the first, but a dazzling play by second baseman Whit Merrifield to end the inning helped boost Vargas in the right direction. He breezed through a nine-pitch second inning and gave up only a two-out walk in the third before calling it a night.

Vargas, making his first appearance since July 21, 2015, hopes to make a couple more starts designed to jump-start him toward becoming an integral part of the Royals' rotation in 2017.

Merrifield's diving stop

"He was a big part of our rotation before he got hurt," manager Ned Yost said before Vargas took the mound. "We hope he can be a big part of our rotation next year."

Vargas was backed up by some excellent relief work. Dillon Gee came on to work 4 1/3 innings, allowing just one run on five hits. Joakim Soria escaped an eighth inning jam and Wade Davis struck out the side in the ninth.

Soria escapes jam

"Anybody coming back from a surgery, this is their goal," Vargas said. "I'm definitely very fortunate that we've had everything happen with all the right steps. It feels good. I knew if I had the opportunity to get out there this year it would be icing on the cake as far as going into next season."

Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com based in Kansas City and covered the Royals on Saturday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.