Friday, April 8, 2016

Ventura up first for Royals with Twins in town

The Royals will open a three-game series at Kauffman Stadium against the American League Central-rival Twins on Friday at 7:15 p.m. CT, giving right-hander Yordano Ventura his first start of the season against Twins right-hander Ervin Santana. Lefty Tommy Milone was slated to take the mound for Minnesota, but he saw his start pushed back a day because Santana threw only 39 pitches in his Opening Day start on Monday because of a rain delay.
The series follows a brief season-opening two-game set that the Royals split with the Mets, whom they defeated in five games in last year's World Series. Two days after hanging on for a one-run win on Opening Night, Kansas City spoiled an effective outing by Chris Young, managing just three hits off Noah Syndergaard and a trio of Mets relievers in a 2-0 loss.
Things to know about the game
• Ventura was last year's Opening Day starter for Kansas City, but he was pushed back to No. 3 this season, mainly because he battled the flu late in spring camp and missed some starts. He is healthy again.
• Santana was scheduled to start on Sunday, but he will start two days earlier after throwing two innings on Monday. Santana, in his first career Opening Day start, tossed two scoreless innings against the Orioles, but a rain delay of more than hour saw him exit the game early. Milone will now start on Sunday, while Ricky Nolasco is also pushed back a day to start on Monday.
• The Royals started rookie Reymond Fuentes in right field for their first two games, turning to him over Paulo Orlando, but manager Ned Yost isn't naming a full-time starter in the absence of the injured Jarrod Dyson.

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