The Royals tried to rally late, but it wasn’t enough as they dropped their series opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates, losing 10-7, Monday night at Kauffman Stadium. Starter Yordano Ventura gave up ten hits and six runs in four-plus innings and fell to 4-7 with a 5.19 ERA. It was the third time in four starts he didn’t finish the fifth inning.
Ventura isn’t making any excuses about his health, saying his hand is fine. He blames it on just missing his spots.
“I went home for the break and worked there and came back and felt good,” he said through a translator. “I just left too many pitches over the plate. It wasn’t my intention. Obviously I am not feeling too good about what is going on. I know this club needs me to do what we need to do this season. I need to keep working to get back to where I need to be.”
Travis Ishikawa did most of the damage for the Pirates. He had three extra-base hits and drove in four runs, snapping out of a 1-for-13 skid since the Pirates claimed him off waivers. Side note–Ishikawa was the hitter who knocked the Cardinals out of the NLCS with his three-run homer in game five of the NLCS off Michael Wacha.
Ishikawa has struggled this season, appearing in just 16 games between San Francisco and Pittsburgh. He hit a two-run double in a four-run second inning that just missed being a homer. Then, off Kris Medlen, he homered in the fifth with one man on. In the eighth inning, Ishikawa’s double sparked a two-run rally after the Royals closed to within 8-7.
Kendrys Morales hit a two-run homer off A.J. Burnett in the fifth, cutting the deficit to 7-4. Mike Moustakas hit his ninth homer of the season in a three-run seventh that cut the Pirates’ lead to one.
Medlen made his first relief appearance for the Royals and his first appearance in the majors since Sept. 27, 2013. Medlen pitched 3.1 innings was charged with four runs, while striking out four.