American League Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, April 8th (All times Eastern)
Tampa Bay Rays (4-4) at Kansas City Royals (3-3), 8:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Tampa Bay - Chris Archer (1-0, 3.00) Kansas City - Yordano Ventura (0-0, 0.00)
(Sports Network) - Dominican prospect Yordano Ventura makes his first start of 2014 for the Kansas City Royals when they host the Tampa Bay Rays in game two of a three-game series at Kauffman Stadium.
A 22-year-old right-hander, Ventura made three starts at the tail end of last season and posted a 3.52 earned run average across 15 1/3 innings while holding opposition batters to a .224 batting average.
He earned a spot in the rotation with a solid spring training, in which he struck out 23 batters in 23 1/3 innings and pared the ERA to 2.70.
In 26 minor-league starts in 2013, he retired 155 batters via strikeout in 134 2/3 innings, backed by a fastball that nears 100 miles per hour.
He has never faced the Rays.
Tampa Bay's own prized prospect, right-hander Chris Archer, makes his second start of 2014.
The 25-year-old signed a $25.5 million contract on Wednesday, a day before debuting for the season with seven innings of two-run, four-hit ball in a 7-2 defeat of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Archer tossed 5 2/3 innings in his lone career meeting with Kansas City, allowing four runs in an 8-2 loss in 2012.
He is 10-1 in 14 career games in which he pitches at least six innings.
On Monday, Jason Vargas hurled eight-plus strong innings as the Royals downed the Rays, 4-2.
Vargas (1-0) allowed just one run -- a solo homer in the ninth -- among four hits to earn his first win in a Royals uniform. The southpaw has allowed just two runs this season.
Alcides Escobar hit a three-run double and Eric Hosmer added an RBI single for the Royals, who took two of three from the White Sox over the weekend.
Royals second baseman Omar Infante left the game in the seventh inning after taking a Heath Bell change-up to the face. He left the game bleeding and will be evaluated on Tuesday.
Greg Holland relieved Vargas in the ninth and allowed one run, but settled down to earn his third save of the season.
Ben Zobrist went 2-for-4 with a solo homer and Matt Joyce added a pinch-hit RBI single.
Matt Moore (0-2) left the game in the fifth inning with a left elbow injury. The southpaw delivered a pitch to Royals outfielder Norichika Aoki and grimaced in pain. He was visited at the mound by manager Joe Maddon and the Rays training staff before exiting. He allowed one run on four hits before leaving.
Kansas City was 6-1 against the Rays last season and has won 11 of the last 14 matchups.
04/08 10:46:02 ET