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Tigers' Cole earns MIAA soccer honor -9/30/2014, 3:10 PM

Royals' playoff appearance years in the making for some fans -9/30/2014, 10:34 AM

Chiefs offense gets rolling in rout -9/30/2014, 10:31 AM

California has four teams in the playoffs for the first time -9/30/2014, 10:31 AM

TMP golf finishes third at Hoisington meet -9/30/2014, 10:35 AM

Monarchs move to 14-10 -9/30/2014, 10:30 AM

Big 12 coaches react to firing -9/30/2014, 10:21 AM

HHS volleyball goes 2-3 in Newton -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

HHS tennis places third at Garden City Invitational -9/29/2014, 4:16 PM

Tiger tennis finishes fall season 5-2 -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

MNF for Chiefs -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

Royals' starters rest in win -9/29/2014, 10:26 AM

KU shows Weis the door -9/29/2014, 10:26 AM

Jayhawks take the conservative route in their loss to Texas -9/28/2014, 9:43 AM

FHSU soccer cruises past SW Baptist -9/28/2014, 7:03 PM

Victoria takes advantage for close win at Ness -9/28/2014, 1:14 AM

Plainville grabs first win, beats TMP -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Area prep football roundup: Otis-Bison, Kinsley set record -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Wildcats roll -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Delton, HHS run past Garden City -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Tiger women's soccer picks up 1-0 win at Southern -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Tiger women's XC wins at Emporia State -9/27/2014, 7:12 PM

Kansas City clinches first playoff berth since 1985 -9/27/2014, 7:02 PM

Tigers take down No. 8 Pitt State -9/27/2014, 6:53 PM

Kansas linebacker Jake Love lives on instincts -9/26/2014, 11:06 AM

Like old times, Kansas State takes pride in stuffing the run -9/26/2014, 10:57 AM

FHSU women fall 2-1 -9/26/2014, 10:23 AM

Big win for Tiger soccer -9/26/2014, 10:46 AM

Tough test for Tiger football -9/26/2014, 10:23 AM

Hays High, TMP move to 4A -9/26/2014, 10:24 AM

One more win and Royals are in -9/26/2014, 10:47 AM

HHS XC second at McPherson meet -9/26/2014, 10:25 AM

Indian soccer snaps skid -9/26/2014, 10:47 AM

HHS golf clinches share of WAC title -9/26/2014, 10:48 AM

Monarchs, Cardinals seek first win -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Royals drop game at Cleveland -9/25/2014, 10:26 AM

UTEP football coach Sean Kugler hopes to build a program that can emulate Kansas State -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Indians hit the road -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Giants, Redskins trying to avoid steeper climb in East -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Sports Scores

Tuesday

Prep basketball

Boys

Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

Girls

Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

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SPOTLIGHT
Streak snapped for Royals

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Streak snapped for Royals

Published on -4/21/2014, 10:07 AM

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By Andy McCullough

McClatchy-Tribune

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Yordano Ventura tucked his chin to his chest as he left the diamond. He looked up to acknowledge only a smattering of polite, Easter Sunday applause, a far cry from the roar that greeted him in his last appearance at Kauffman Stadium.

He is still only 22, and on Sunday, fresh off his first big-league victory last week, he reminded observers of that reality. Ventura floundered for four innings in an 8-3 loss to Minnesota. The Royals, 9-8, saw their five-game winning streak snapped, and their budding young right-hander bruised.

The outing was far from a disaster. Ventura, 1-1 with a 2.65 ERA, gave up only four runs. He struck out six batters. His star did not dim, despite an afternoon when he could not repeat his delivery, could not pepper the Twins with the arsenal that tantalizes so many in this organization.

"He needs to learn to make adjustments when that happens," manager Ned Yost said. "I've been saying this from day one: There's going to be days when he struggles with his command."

On Sunday he displayed all the hallmarks of youth and inexperience. In his last outing, Ventura survived against the cellar-dwelling Astros despite a lackluster curveball. He was less fortunate Sunday.

His command was erratic at best, nonexistent at worse. In his first three games, Ventura walked three batters. He issued four walks on Sunday. The Twins demonstrated little fear in the face of his velocity and raked six hits off him.

The bullpen was not much sharper behind him. Louis Coleman served up a solo home run. Making his big-league debut, Justin Marks yielded three runs in two innings. By the time the offense awoke from its Sunday afternoon slumber, it was too late. Alcides Escobar chased Twins starter Phil Hughes in the seventh with a two-run home run -- which only cut the deficit to five.

"Today was a tough game," designated hitter Billy Butler said. "It was just one of those games."

The Twins milked Ventura for 34 pitches in the first. Brian Dozier opened with a single, and Joe Mauer followed with a walk.

From behind the plate, catcher Salvador Perez kept signaling Ventura to slow down.

The message did not take, at least not against third baseman Trevor Plouffe. Ventura grooved a 98-mph fastball at Plouffe's waist. He ripped a two-run double. Ventura did not allow another run that inning, but his pitch count escalated thanks to two strikeouts and a walk.

"He said he tried to concentrate," said pitcher Bruce Chen, who translated for Ventura. "He made adjustments throughout the game. But not every day he's going to have the good days."

Ventura smoothed out during the next two innings. But his skittishness cost the Royals in the fourth. With two outs, Minnesota outfielder Aaron Hicks stood at first base. Ventura skipped an errant pickoff throw past Eric Hosmer. Hicks took second base. When Ventura bounced a curveball for a wild pitch, Hicks moved to third and scored on a subsequent single.

In his last outing, Ventura also allowed a run to score thanks to a misguided pickoff attempt. Team officials hope he ceases this habit, which is sometimes considered a nervous tic adopted by young pitchers. Hosmer framed it as a teaching moment.

"Honestly, dude, you throw one away, let a guy get to third, give up a run? That's how you learn from it," Hosmer said. "He should never do that again, you know what I mean? He'll learn."

Plouffe stepped in against Ventura at the beginning of the fifth. Once again, Ventura fed him a belt-high fastball. Once again, Plouffe tattooed it. His triple boomed off the Budweiser sign in center field. Chris Colabello floated an RBI single into center, and Ventura was done.

In the bottom of the inning, the Royals finally began to connect against Hughes. A rally sprouted after a double and two singles. But it ended when Minnesota second baseman Brian Dozier sprawled to snare a hard-hit grounder by Perez and start a double play.

"There's no telling what would have happened if that ball got through right there," Yost said.

But Dozier made the play. Yost opted to protect his more precious relievers. After Coleman and Marks struggled, the victory drifted out of reach.

"We won the series," Butler said. "We wanted the sweep -- but it didn't happen."

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