Kansas City Royals honor Yordano Ventura in home opener

Kansas City Royals honor Yordano Ventura in home opener

The Royals played their first home game today since 25-year-old starting pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a January vehicle crash in his native Dominican Republic.

Mother of Yordano Ventura, Marisol Hern√°ndez, threw out the ceremonial first pitch after writing "Dios" (God in Spanish) on the pitching mound. "It just takes time, and it's the only thing that is going to heal things is time".

Kelvin Herrera hitched up his trousers and tucked in his crisp, white jersey inside the Kansas City clubhouse, the space beside him empty but for a framed jersey and memories to last a lifetime. The A's were led to victory by seven innings of shutout baseball from Jharel Cotton and a two-run home-run from slugging right fielder Khris Davis. The young pitcher, an instrumental part of back-to-back World Series trips, was killed in an off-season vehicle crash in the Dominican Republic.

Kansas City first baseman Eric Hosmer, who came up in the organization alongside Ventura, addressed the crowd at Kauffman Stadium and thanked the fans "for the love and support that you guys have all had for us and Yordano's family".

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Kansas City: RHP Jason Hammel allowed three runs on six hits in five innings against Minnesota in his first start for the Royals last week. The A's seven-game win streak against Kansas City matches the longest in franchise history.

Peter Moylan pitched two ideal innings in relief for the Royals. Left-hander Sean Doolittle worked the ninth for his first save.

Kansas City has scored one run or fewer in three of its five losses this season. RHP Chris Bassitt (elbow surgery) reported no problems after throwing to hitters on Sunday at Class A Stockton, but Melvin said he's not sure what the next step will be in Bassitt's rehab.

"He brought a lot of energy that fit in good with that team and I know they're going to play hard, play with an edge because the emotions will be heightened, for sure", said A's reliever Ryan Madson, who was teammates with Ventura on the 2016 Kansas City championship team. He gets the start at the K on Wednesday night.

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