UPDATE: Well, this doesn’t sound promising. Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star reports that Ventura exited due to “lateral elbow discomfort” and will be sent for an MRI.
9:36 p.m. ET: Troubling development for the Royals, as rookie right-hander Yordano Ventura was forced to exit tonight’s start against the Astros in the third inning with an apparent injury.
Ventura was getting hit around pretty good before exiting, as the Astros touched him up for five runs on seven hits and three walks over 2 2/3 innings. Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star notes that his fastball was clocked at 91 mph against his final batter, which isn’t a promising sign. We’ll pass along more information when we get it, but hopefully another young pitcher isn’t dealing with a serious injury.
Ventura, 22, owns a 3.45 ERA and 59/19 K/BB ratio in 57 1/3 innings over 10 starts this season. Per FanGraphs, he entered tonight’s outing with an average fastball velocity of 96.7 mph, which is the highest in the majors.
The Astros rallied late to keep their winning streak alive, extending it to 11 games with a 7-4 victory over the Royals on Sunday afternoon. The club is now 48-25, leading the Mariners by a full game in the AL West.
The Royals took a 4-2 lead after three innings, but Brian McCann knocked in a run with a single in the top of the fourth to cut the deficit to one run. Carlos Correa hit a game-tying solo home run in the eighth. The Astros kept their foot on the gas, scoring two more runs on RBI singles from Evan Gattis and Marwin Gonzalez in the top of the eighth and another in the top of the ninth on Correa’s sacrifice fly.
Starter Lance McCullers allowed four runs (two earned) on six hits and two walks with nine strikeouts over six innings. Tony Sipp worked a scoreless seventh. Ken Giles did the same in the eighth. Hector Rondon finished off the win in the ninth, working around a one-out walk with a game-ending double play.
After winning all 10 games on their road trip against the Rangers, Athletics, and Royals, the Astros will head home for a nine-game homestand against the Rays, Royals, and Blue Jays. Each club is below .500.