KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Yordano Ventura throws a fastball that can touch three figures on radar guns, while Texas Rangers lefthander Wandy Rodriguez seldom reaches 90 mph.
Rodriguez easily outpitched Ventura on Saturday as the Rangers beat the Kansas City Royals 4-2.
The AL champion Royals have lost nine of 11.
Rodriguez pitched seven effective innings. Staked to an early 4-0 lead, he held the Royals to one run and six hits.
Ventura was pulled after three ineffective innings and 78 pitches, giving up four runs on six hits, two walks and a hit batter.
"Look at the difference in Wandy Rodriguez's stuff and Yordano Ventura's stuff," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Wandy was throwing it up there at 88-89 miles per hour, and Yordano was throwing it at 98-99 miles per hour.
"The difference between the two, and the reason Wandy won today, is Wandy works down and he works on the corners. He changes speeds with his changeup," he said.
Ventura (3-5) continued to struggle early, allowing four runs in the first two innings.
Ventura has a 6.14 ERA in the first two innings in his 11 starts with opponents hitting .314 off him.
"I was a little wild at first," Ventura said with teammate Christian Colon as his interpreter. "I felt like I settled down a little bit. It was one of those days. It wasn't working."
Ventura gave up six hits, walked two and hit a batter against Texas in his shortest outing of the season.
"Today it was fastballs up in the zone that would catch too much of the plate. That's a good-hitting group over there. They're not going to miss those pitches, and it doesn't matter if it's 98," Yost said.
The Royals avoided their second straight shutout when Jarrod Dyson led off the sixth with a double, his fifth straight hit, and scored on Mike Moustakas' single.