BALTIMORE (AP) — Yordano Ventura scattered seven hits over eight innings Friday night as the Kansas City Royals cruised to a 5-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles, who played the latter part of the game without injured slugger Chris Davis.
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.
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.
Ventura (2-1) had a career-high eight strikeouts and walked two in his seventh major league start. The 22-year-old rookie, who had never before gone longer than seven innings, stymied a club that totaled 21 runs in its last two games.
Baltimore got only one runner past second base against the hard-throwing Ventura, a non-drafted free agent from the Dominican Republic.
Greg Holland worked a perfect ninth to finish off the Royals’ second shutout of the season. Kansas City is 11-0 when scoring at least four runs and 0-11 when scoring three runs or less.
Ubaldo Jimenez (0-4) allowed four runs and six hits in six-plus innings. The right-hander has lost four of his five starts with the Orioles, who signed him to a $50 million, four-year contract in February.
After the start of the game was delayed 55 minutes by rain, the Royals wasted no time in taking a 2-0 lead. Jimenez walked Omar Infante and gave up a single to Eric Hosmer before yielding RBI singles to Billy Butler and Alex Gordon.
Alcides Escobar reached third with no outs in Kansas City second, but was stranded. The Orioles got two singles in both the second and fourth innings before Ventura worked out of trouble.
The Royals chased Jimenez during a two-run seventh. Escobar walked and Jarrod Dyson reached on a bunt before Nori Aoki delivered an RBI single past the drawn-in infield and Infante singled in a run on reliever T.J. McFarland’s first pitch.
Butler made it 5-0 in the ninth with a two-out RBI double.
NOTES: Orioles 3B Manny Machado (knee) began his rehabilitation assignment with Class A Frederick. Because of a wet field, he served as DH instead of playing the field. He had two doubles and a triple in four at-bats. … Former Oriole Jeremy Guthrie will take the mound for the Royals on Saturday night in the second game of the series. Wei-Yin Chen will pitch for Baltimore. … The Royals sent LHP Tim Collins (flexor strain) to Triple-A Omaha to begin a rehab assignment. … Hosmer singled and walked twice against Jimenez and is 9 for 23 (.391) lifetime against him. … Nick Markakis had two hits for Baltimore, his team-high ninth multihit game.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)