BALTIMORE — Rookie Yordano Ventura, making just his seventh start, allowed seven hits over eight innings as the Royals cruised to a 5-0 victory over the Orioles on Friday.
Ventura had a career-high eight strikeouts and walked two. The 22-year-old, who had never gone longer than seven innings, stymied a club that had totaled 21 runs in its previous two games.
"I think that's as good as I've seen him," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He had everything going. I mean good fastball, his curveball — that was probably the most consistent curveball he's had all year — and a great changeup. He kept his pitch count down and really never got into much trouble. He just pitched a great game."
Baltimore got only one runner past second against the hard-throwing Ventura, a nondrafted free agent from the Dominican Republic.
"That kid's special, to say the least," said Baltimore centerfielder Adam Jones, who went 0-for-3 against the right-hander. "He's got a 95-100 (mph fastball), and his changeup, I think, is the pitch that keeps people off his fastball. His curveball was filthy. I don't like to tip my cap. But the guy's got some good stuff, and he went out there and showed it."
Greg Holland worked a perfect ninth to finish off the Royals' second shutout of the season. Kansas City is 11-0 when scoring at least four runs and 0-11 when scoring three or fewer.
Ubaldo Jimenez allowed four runs and six hits in six-plus innings. The right-hander has lost four of his five starts with the Orioles, who signed him to a $50 million, four-year contract in February.
After the start of the game was delayed 55 minutes by rain, the Royals wasted no time in taking a 2-0 lead. Jimenez walked Omar Infante and gave up a single to Eric Hosmer before yielding RBI singles to Billy Butler and Alex Gordon.
The Royals chased Jimenez during a two-run seventh.