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Tigers' Paraguay soccer connection -11/21/2014, 10:56 AM

One last go for Knights' seniors -11/21/2014, 5:00 PM

Phillipsburg one step away -11/21/2014, 10:47 AM

McPherson standout signs with FHSU -11/20/2014, 2:35 PM

Wildcats look to bounce back at Morgantown -11/20/2014, 10:29 AM

Tiger women roll to record win -11/20/2014, 10:20 AM

FHSU men pick up first win -11/20/2014, 10:20 AM

Cavs fumble chance to beat Spurs -11/20/2014, 10:20 AM

A's officially sign Butler -11/20/2014, 10:20 AM

Two Tigers named to MIAA vb team -11/19/2014, 11:13 AM

Jordy Nelson sets early tone for Packers' offense -11/19/2014, 10:05 AM

Kentucky blasts KU -11/19/2014, 10:05 AM

Defense leads Wildcat women -11/19/2014, 10:05 AM

K-State looks to run stronger -11/19/2014, 10:13 AM

No. 11 Wichita State rolls over Memphis -11/18/2014, 8:05 PM

Inman named MIAA Wrestlers of the Week -11/18/2014, 2:23 PM

Williams, Jordan among first-team all-MIAA selections for FHSU -11/18/2014, 11:16 AM

Bell, Steelers rally past Titans -11/18/2014, 10:11 AM

NFL suspends Peterson without pay -11/18/2014, 10:11 AM

'Cats knock off UMKC at Bramlage -11/18/2014, 10:10 AM

Calipari will simplify offense -11/18/2014, 10:10 AM

Hays High football earns WAC honors -11/18/2014, 10:10 AM

Wichita State defense works at protecting the basket -11/17/2014, 2:36 PM

K.C., Wichita to host NCAA's in future -11/17/2014, 2:08 PM

Harvick wins Chase -11/17/2014, 10:14 AM

FHSU women fall just short of rally -11/17/2014, 10:14 AM

Charles beats Seahawks' 'Beast' at own game -11/17/2014, 10:14 AM

Rams shock Manning, Broncos -11/17/2014, 10:14 AM

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson's elusiveness, style earns Chiefs' respect -11/17/2014, 10:12 AM

It's basketball time in South Dakota for WSU -11/17/2014, 10:12 AM

Phillipsburg reaches new heights in win -11/16/2014, 5:24 AM

Ell-Saline eliminates La Crosse -11/16/2014, 5:24 AM

Tiger volleyball drops season finale -11/16/2014, 7:05 PM

Tiger men suffer two losses to open season on road -11/16/2014, 7:05 PM

Tigers nab seventh win -11/15/2014, 9:41 PM

Friday's prep football scores -11/14/2014, 9:36 PM

Knights headed to state -11/14/2014, 5:20 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
Royals drop pitchers’ duel

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Royals drop pitchers’ duel

Published on -4/9/2014, 11:12 AM

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By Andy McCullough
McClatchy-Tribune
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The temporary second baseman sprawled across the dirt. Danny Valencia, a backup third baseman filling in on emergency duty, dived in vain to snag a ground-ball single that cost the Royals in a 1-0 loss to Tampa Bay on Tuesday.
The blame for the evening does not belong with Valencia, filling in for Omar Infante, who is resting a sprained jaw after being hit with a pitch Monday night. The Royals loaded the bases on three separate occasions, and came away empty each time. They wasted an outstanding season debut by 22-year-old Yordano Ventura, who was locked in a pitchers’ duel with the Rays’ Chris Archer.
And responsibility for the winning run lies more with third baseman Mike Moustakas and closer Greg Holland.
Holland entered with a scoreless deadlock in the ninth. He induced a ground ball off the bat of former Royals prospect Wil Myers. Moustakas swooped in front of shortstop Alcides Escobar and grabbed the ball, but Moustakas fumbled the transfer and could not make a throw, and Myers was safe.
Myers took second when Holland threw a slider in the dirt for a wild pitch. James Loney then threaded the single that scored Myers and dropped the Royals to 3-4.
It was a frightful ending to a night that began with such promise.
In his first start of the season, Ventura spun six scoreless innings, and held the Rays to two hits. He utilized his fastball — the trademark weapon that touches triple digits — along with his change-up and curveball for six strikeouts.
A rainout postponed Ventura’s scheduled debut in the season’s third game, and the Royals skipped his turn in the rotation. Midway through Saturday’s game against Chicago, Ventura tossed a bullpen session and prepared for his debut.
Inside the clubhouse, hours before the game, Ventura stationed his chair toward his locker and sat down. He strapped on a pair of headphones that encased his ears. On occasion, he glanced back at a mostly empty room.
Outside in the early April chill, manager Ned Yost previewed the evening’s main attraction. Ventura made three starts in 2013, and his performance hinted as his potential. Yost kept his tone measured.
“They’re going to see a young man that throws three pitches,” Yost said. “Hopefully for strikes.”
The first pitch of his season departed Ventura’s hand at 7:10 p.m. The fastball zipped at 96 mph into catcher Salvador Perez’s glove. Home-plate umpire Quinn Wolcott ruled it a ball, below the knees of leadoff hitter David DeJesus, who slapped a single three pitches later.
In this moment, Yost’s foreshadowing earlier in the day proved prescient.
“What impresses me the most is for a real young guy, he doesn’t let the game speed up on him,” Yost said. “He’s got great composure.”
Ventura was undeterred in the face of early adversity. He dusted off Myers with an 89-mph change-up and fanned Ben Zobrist with a 98-mph fastball. He locked into a rhythm from there. The third inning lasted only seven pitches.
In the fourth, Zobrist clubbed a one-out double out of Nori Aoki’s reach in right field. The response from Ventura was decisive. He froze Evan Longoria with an 85-mph curveball for a strikeout. Valencia flashed credible range as he chased down an inning-ending pop-up into shallow right.
Ventura’s velocity will always impress casual observers. To Royals officials, the potential with his other pitches is still vast. Ventura opted for four consecutive curveballs to begin his third encounter with Myers, with two outs in the sixth. With the count full, Ventura flicked another change-up that left Myers motionless.
It was his final pitch of the evening, the last one in a six-inning hint of what could come this season. It was also the last encouraging moment on a night that ended in angst.
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