Ventura ejected as Royals blanked by A’s 5-0
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Josh Reddick hit a three-run homer, Jesse Hahn and Jesse Chavez combined for a seven-hitter, and the Oakland Athletics rolled to a 5-0 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Saturday night.
Yordano Ventura (2-1) gave up all five runs in the fourth inning, right before hitting A’s third baseman Brett Lawrie with what appeared to be a retaliatory pitch for an incident the previous night.
Stephen Vogt and former Royals designated hitter Billy Butler each drove in a run for Oakland, and Hahn (1-1) scattered three hits and a walk over 5 1/3 innings before leaving with a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand.
Chavez then picked him up with 3 2/3 innings for the save, completing the fifth shutout by Oakland in its first 12 games. The A’s have outscored their opponents 47-1 in their six victories.
Tempers were still hot from the series opener Friday night, when Lawrie slid hard and late into second base and wiped out Alcides Escobar. The Royals shortstop sprained his left knee in the collision, and said before Saturday night’s game that he thought the slide was dirty.
Ventura waited until he was pounded in the fourth before exacting some revenge.
After serving up Reddick’s homer to right field, the hard-throwing youngster plunked Lawrie in the left elbow. Plate umpire Jim Joyce immediately tossed Ventura from the game, and the rest of the umpire crew moved quickly to keep the two teams from starting a melee.
Lawrie calmly walked to first base and waited for the furor to die down.
The five-run fourth by Oakland and Ventura’s ejection only made a miserable day worse for Kansas City. All-Star closer Greg Holland was placed on the 15-day disabled list prior to the game with a strained right pectoral muscle that has been bothering him for the last week.
Holland already has four saves, and has not allowed a hit in four scoreless innings.
Yohan Pino was recalled from Triple-A Omaha to take Holland’s place on the roster. He threw 4 2/3 innings of three-hit ball after Ventura was tossed from the game.
Kansas City might end up regretting its decision to decline a $12.5 million option on Butler for this season. His run-scoring single in the fourth extended his hit streak to 12 games, the first A’s player with that long of a streak to begin their career with the organization.
Athletics: RHP Jarrod Parker (Tommy John surgery) threw 33 pitches in an extended spring game Saturday. He plans to go four innings his next time out, possibly in a minor league game.
Royals: Escobar remains day to day. Orlando Calixte was recalled from Omaha and OF Reymond Fuentes optioned to the same club to provide infield depth while Escobar is out.
Athletics: LHP Scott Kazmir (2-0) has struck out eight or more batters in each of his first two starts. He allowed one run over six innings in a win Monday in Houston.
Royals: LHP Danny Duffy (1-0) is 3-0 with a 2.45 ERA in his career against Oakland.