Rookie Ventura leads Royals past Orioles 5-0

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Though concerned about the potential short-term loss of injured Baltimore Orioles teammate Chris Davis, Adam Jones couldn’t help but marvel at the performance of Kansas City Royals rookie Yordano Ventura.

Ventura scattered seven hits over eight innings and had a career-high eight strikeouts in leading the Royals to a 5-0 victory Friday night.

“That kid’s special, to say the least,” said Jones, who went 0 for 3 against the right-hander. “He’s got a 95-100 (mph fastball), and his changeup I think is the pitch that keeps people off his fastball. His curveball was filthy. I don’t like to tip my cap, but the guy’s got some good stuff and he went out there and showed it tonight.”

Davis left in the fifth inning with a left oblique strain. The severity of the injury was not immediately known, but Davis looked to be in obvious discomfort as he walked toward the dugout following a third-inning flyout.

“We’ll know more about it (Saturday),” Davis said. “I’ve never had an oblique strain or whatever you want to call it, but it doesn’t feel so bad right now that I can’t move or anything like that. So I think right now we’ll just take it one day at a time.”

Davis led the majors with 53 home runs and 138 RBIs last season. Although he has only two homers this year, Davis reached base in a career-high 20 straight games before going 0 for 2 in this one.

He hopes to get back quickly and start another streak.

“If we can get ahead of it right now and make it just a bump in the road as opposed to a big obstacle, I’ll be better off,” said Davis, who could not recall a specific play or swing that caused the injury.

“Just discomfort the last few days,” he said.

The Orioles won’t be the same if Davis must go to the 15-day disabled list.

“CD is a big, big part of our lineup and part of our plan,” Jones said. “Whatever it is, you just want him to take his time and not rush it because it could be longer.”

Ventura (2-1) walked two and hit a batter in his seventh major league start. The 22-year-old, who had never before gone longer than seven innings, stymied a club that totaled 21 runs in its previous two games.

“I think that’s as good as I’ve seen him,” manager Ned Yost said. “He had everything going tonight. I mean good fastball, his curveball - that was probably the most consistent curveball he’s had all year - and a great changeup. He kept his pitch count down and really never got into much trouble. He just pitched a great game.”

Baltimore got only one runner past second base against the hard-throwing Ventura, a non-drafted free agent from the Dominican Republic.

Royals pitcher Bruce Chen, serving as a translator for Ventura, said, “He felt like it went really well, but he wants to thank the team for supporting him, playing good defense and scoring a lot of runs. He thought we did a really good job of calling the game.”

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