Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Ventura set for return in I-70 Series rematch with Cardinals

After serving an eight-game suspension, Royals right-hander Yordano Ventura returns to the mound and will face Cardinals righty Michael Wacha on Tuesday in the second game of the I-70 Series at Kauffman Stadium.
In his two outings prior to the suspension, Ventura was dominant, allowing one run and one walk with 15 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings. Royals manager Ned Yost said he had Ventura throw about 30 pitches during a session last Friday to stay sharp between outings.
"Eight games is not that huge a layoff," Yost said. "We try to provide an opportunity where he can face hitters."
As for Wacha, he'll be looking to close out June with another solid outing after a fairly disappointing May. He is sporting a 3.08 ERA for the month, having pitched three consecutive quality starts. He's also pitched well against the Royals historically, posting a career 1.80 ERA with three quality starts.
Wacha will also look to continue to perform favorably on the road, where he's posted a sub-4.00 ERA in 2015 and '16.
Things to know about this game
• Ventura and Wacha have squared off twice in the past. On June 5, 2014, Ventura got the best of the matchup, giving up two earned runs to Wacha's three. About two weeks shy of a year later, Wacha returned the favor, going seven innings against the Royals without giving up an earned run.
• The Cardinals have a better record this year in the last game of a road trip (3-2) than in the first game of a homestand (1-4). Tuesday will mark the last day of the team's current eight-game road trip before heading home for nine in a row.
• Royals designated hitter Kendrys Morales is hitting .444 (20-for-45) with four home runs and 15 RBIs over his last 12 starts. However, he's managed just one hit in four at-bats against Wacha over the last five years.

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