Venters gets first win since 2012, Rays beat Royals

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Joey Wendle's go-ahead hit in the ninth inning gave Jonny Venters another first in his remarkable major league return.

Wendle drove in the winning run to get Venters his first victory since 2012, and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Kansas City Royals 6-5 on Tuesday night.

Venters (1-0) got two outs for his first victory since Sept. 27, 2012 while with Atlanta against the Mets. The left-hander had been out since 2012 due to four major elbow surgeries, including three Tommy John operations, before returning to the majors this season.

''It was a long time ago,'' Venters said.

It took a last-inning rally to get Venters a victory. Johnny Field and Jesus Sucre led off the ninth with singles against Kelvin Herrera (1-1). Herrera retired the next two batters before Wendle laced a single to left.

''I feel like lately I've been particularly poor with runners in scoring position, which is always frustrating,'' Wendle said. ''I think it's one of those things, over a longer or bigger sample size evens out, so it's always good to get a clutch hit.''

Alex Colome worked the ninth for his eighth save.

The Royals lost their fourth straight and sixth in seven.

C.J. Cron hammered Ian Kennedy's first pitch to center for a two-run shot during the Rays' three-run first. Cron has reached base in a career-high 21 consecutive games and singled in the second for his fifth multihit game in his last seven games.

The Rays batted around in the first, which also included Adeiny Hechavarria's run-producing single scoring Matt Duffy, who had doubled. Kennedy struck out Sucre with the bases loaded to end the inning.

''I wasn't making quality pitches to start with,'' Kennedy said. ''The fastball when I was throwing it was too much over the plate. The curveball wasn't down.''

Manager Ned Yost had Brad Keller warming up in the first.

''I thought Kennedy at the beginning of the game was just flat, struggled with his command, gave up the three runs and he didn't look very good to me,'' Yost said. ''You're hoping he can come in and made an adjustment and settle in and that's exactly what he did. He did a great job of grinding through six innings.''

Left-hander Anthony Banda, who was making his Rays debut after being acquired in a February three-team trade from Arizona, threw only 52 pitches in five innings, allowing three runs and six hits. He became the eighth Rays' starter in 40 games this season, equaling the number of starters they used in 2017.

''Establishing the fastball, getting early-count outs, just attacking hitters, going at them with everything,'' Banda said. ''Not shying away from contact, so overall I felt good. My body felt great.''

Kennedy threw 34 of his 101 pitches in the first inning. He labored through six innings, yielding five runs on seven hits while striking out six. Span went down looking to end the sixth for Kennedy's 1,500th strikeout.

Whit Merrifield drove in Kansas City three runs. His seventh-inning two-out single off Sergio Romo scored Alex Gordon and Hunter Dozier. Merrifield's fifth-inning single scored Dozier.

NOW BATTING FIFTH

Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar batted fifth for the first time in his nine-year career. He is the seventh player to bat fifth for the Royals this season.

ROSTER MOVES

The Rays optioned RHP Hunter Wood to Triple-A Durham, one day after he was recalled. The move was made to clear roster space for Banda.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rays: Duffy left in the fifth inning with right hamstring tightness. Right fielder Carlos Gomez was removed in the sixth with right groin tightness. ... RHP Nathan Eovaldi threw a bullpen session Tuesday in St. Petersburg, Florida. ''All went well,'' Rays manager Kevin Cash said. Eovaldi, who is on the disabled list with loose elbow fragments, will start a rehab game Friday for Durham. Cash said he would throw three innings and 50 pitches.

Royals: RF Jorge Soler was out with a displaced rib, which he hurt while making a leaping catch Monday. ''It's not serious,'' Royals manager Ned Yost said. ''On a scale of 1-to-10, it's not even a one, maybe a three-fourths.'' He said Soler could return Wednesday. ... Back spasms kept IF Cheslor Cuthbert out of the lineup. ... RHP Justin Grimm threw 20 pitches in his first rehab appearance with Triple-A Omaha. He allowed a run on a hit and a walk and struck out one in 2/3 of an inning. He is on the disabled list with lower back stiffness.

UP NEXT

Rays: RHP Jake Faria, who has allowed one or no runs in four of last six starts, is the probable starter for the series finale.

Royals: RHP Jason Hammel will be making his first start since allowing nine runs on Friday at Cleveland.

Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

123456789RHE
TB18-22
3010010016100
KC13-29
0100202005110
  • W: J. Venters (1-0)L: K. Herrera (1-1)S: A. Colome (8)
  • HR: TB - C. Cron (9)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
D. Span LF51100012.248.378.385.7621.5
C. Cron DH51221022.284.331.503.8357.0
J. Wendle 2B50110011.284.328.394.7221.5
M. Duffy 3B31100001.322.352.430.7813.0
D. Robertson 3B20000012.261.414.424.838-0.5
B. Miller 1B21100200.235.321.418.7405.0
A. Hechavarria SS40110002.268.299.339.6382.0
M. Smith CF31110022.310.388.434.8213.0
C. Gomez RF10000110.200.252.345.5960.5
J. Field RF11100000.289.333.489.8222.0
J. Sucre C30110013.238.250.262.5121.5
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    W. Merrifield DH50230001.290.357.426.7835.0
    J. Jay RF40100001.288.350.338.6881.0
    S. Perez C40000001.256.290.477.7670.0
    M. Moustakas 3B41200000.299.331.551.8824.0
    A. Escobar SS40200011.240.302.329.6311.5
    A. Gordon LF32110112.275.333.392.7254.5
    H. Dozier 1B42200001.286.286.429.7145.0
    A. Almonte CF30000013.203.257.348.605-0.5
    R. Goins 2B40110013.245.273.283.5561.5
      BATTING
      • 2B - M. Duffy (7), B. Miller (4), M. Smith (8)
      • HR - C. Cron (9)
      • SF - M. Smith
      • SH - C. Gomez, J. Sucre (2)
      • RBI - C. Cron 2 (25), J. Wendle (11), A. Hechavarria (14), M. Smith (9), J. Sucre (4)
      • 2-Out RBI - J. Wendle (2)
      BATTING
      • 2B - M. Moustakas (10), H. Dozier
      • SH - A. Almonte
      • RBI - W. Merrifield 3 (16), A. Gordon (9), R. Goins (3)
      • 2-Out RBI - W. Merrifield 3 (6)
      FIELDING
      • Outfield Assist - D. Span
      • DP - (Hechavarria-Wendle-Miller)
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      A. Banda5.06330105.401.206.5
      J. Alvarado (H, 12)1.22221102.950.98-1.5
      S. Romo (BS, 3)0.21000004.961.53-1.0
      J. Venters (W, 1-0)0.21000101.420.636.5
      A. Colome (S, 8)1.01000104.341.559.5
      PITCHERSIP
      A. Banda5.0
      J. Alvarado (H, 12)1.2
      S. Romo (BS, 3)0.2
      J. Venters (W, 1-0)0.2
      A. Colome (S, 8)1.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      I. Kennedy6.07553614.981.516.0
      K. McCarthy1.00000203.241.324.0
      T. Hill1.00000103.461.153.5
      K. Herrera (L, 1-1)1.03110001.150.77-6.0
      PITCHERSIP
      I. Kennedy6.0
      K. McCarthy1.0
      T. Hill1.0
      K. Herrera (L, 1-1)1.0
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - A. Banda 52-38, J. Alvarado 28-15, S. Romo 8-6, J. Venters 9-7, A. Colome 16-12
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - A. Banda 6-6, J. Alvarado 4-0, S. Romo 1-1, J. Venters 1-0
      • Batters Faced - A. Banda 19, J. Alvarado 8, S. Romo 3, J. Venters 3, A. Colome 4
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - I. Kennedy 101-66, K. McCarthy 13-10, T. Hill 17-12, K. Herrera 22-16
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - I. Kennedy 4-8, T. Hill 2-0
      • Batters Faced - I. Kennedy 28, K. McCarthy 3, T. Hill 3, K. Herrera 6
      PLAYERS OF THE GAME
      123456789RHE
      TB18-22
      3010010016100
      KC13-29
      0100202005110
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      D. Span LF51100012.248.378.385.7621.5
      C. Cron DH51221022.284.331.503.8357.0
      J. Wendle 2B50110011.284.328.394.7221.5
      M. Duffy 3B31100001.322.352.430.7813.0
      D. Robertson 3B20000012.261.414.424.838-0.5
      B. Miller 1B21100200.235.321.418.7405.0
      A. Hechavarria SS40110002.268.299.339.6382.0
      M. Smith CF31110022.310.388.434.8213.0
      C. Gomez RF10000110.200.252.345.5960.5
      J. Field RF11100000.289.333.489.8222.0
      J. Sucre C30110013.238.250.262.5121.5
      Total34610613915-----
        HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
        W. Merrifield DH50230001.290.357.426.7835.0
        J. Jay RF40100001.288.350.338.6881.0
        S. Perez C40000001.256.290.477.7670.0
        M. Moustakas 3B41200000.299.331.551.8824.0
        A. Escobar SS40200011.240.302.329.6311.5
        A. Gordon LF32110112.275.333.392.7254.5
        H. Dozier 1B42200001.286.286.429.7145.0
        A. Almonte CF30000013.203.257.348.605-0.5
        R. Goins 2B40110013.245.273.283.5561.5
        Total35511501413-----
          BATTING
          • 2B - M. Duffy (7), B. Miller (4), M. Smith (8)
          • HR - C. Cron (9)
          • SF - M. Smith
          • SH - C. Gomez, J. Sucre (2)
          • RBI - C. Cron 2 (25), J. Wendle (11), A. Hechavarria (14), M. Smith (9), J. Sucre (4)
          • 2-Out RBI - J. Wendle (2)
          BATTING
          • 2B - M. Moustakas (10), H. Dozier
          • SH - A. Almonte
          • RBI - W. Merrifield 3 (16), A. Gordon (9), R. Goins (3)
          • 2-Out RBI - W. Merrifield 3 (6)
          FIELDING
          • Outfield Assist - D. Span
          • DP - (Hechavarria-Wendle-Miller)
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          A. Banda5.06330105.401.206.5
          J. Alvarado (H, 12)1.22221102.950.98-1.5
          S. Romo (BS, 3)0.21000004.961.53-1.0
          J. Venters (W, 1-0)0.21000101.420.636.5
          A. Colome (S, 8)1.01000104.341.559.5
          Total9.01155140---
          PITCHERSIP
          A. Banda5.0
          J. Alvarado (H, 12)1.2
          S. Romo (BS, 3)0.2
          J. Venters (W, 1-0)0.2
          A. Colome (S, 8)1.0
          Total9.0
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          I. Kennedy6.07553614.981.516.0
          K. McCarthy1.00000203.241.324.0
          T. Hill1.00000103.461.153.5
          K. Herrera (L, 1-1)1.03110001.150.77-6.0
          Total9.01066391---
          PITCHERSIP
          I. Kennedy6.0
          K. McCarthy1.0
          T. Hill1.0
          K. Herrera (L, 1-1)1.0
          Total9.0
          PITCHING
          • Pitches-Strikes - A. Banda 52-38, J. Alvarado 28-15, S. Romo 8-6, J. Venters 9-7, A. Colome 16-12
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - A. Banda 6-6, J. Alvarado 4-0, S. Romo 1-1, J. Venters 1-0
          • Batters Faced - A. Banda 19, J. Alvarado 8, S. Romo 3, J. Venters 3, A. Colome 4
          PITCHING
          • Pitches-Strikes - I. Kennedy 101-66, K. McCarthy 13-10, T. Hill 17-12, K. Herrera 22-16
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - I. Kennedy 4-8, T. Hill 2-0
          • Batters Faced - I. Kennedy 28, K. McCarthy 3, T. Hill 3, K. Herrera 6
          • 9TH INNING
            Wendle singled to left, Field scored, Sucre to second65
          • 7TH INNING
            Merrifield singled to center, Gordon and Dozier scored55
          • 6TH INNING
            Sucre hit sacrifice bunt to first, Smith scored53
          • 5TH INNING
            Merrifield singled to left, Dozier scored, Merrifield out at second43
            Goins grounded out to shortstop, Gordon scored, Dozier to third42
          • 3RD INNING
            Smith hit sacrifice fly to left, Miller scored41
          • 2ND INNING
            Gordon grounded out to first, Moustakas scored, Escobar to second31
          • 1ST INNING
            Hechavarria singled to left, Duffy scored, Miller to second30
            Cron homered to center, Span scored20
          • 9TH INNING
            • Kelvin Herrera relieved Tim Hill
            • J. Field: Ball, Ball, Field singled to center
            • J. Sucre: Foul, Strike swinging, Sucre singled to right, Field to second
            • D. Span: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Span lined out to center
            • C. Cron: Ball, Foul, Foul, Cron flied out to right
            • J. Wendle: Foul, Wendle singled to left, Field scored, Sucre to second
            • D. Robertson: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Foul, Robertson lined out to second
            • Middle of the 9th (1 Run, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Alex Colome relieved Jonny Venters
            • H. Dozier: Ball, Dozier flied out to shallow left
            • A. Almonte: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Almonte struck out swinging
            • R. Goins: Strike looking, Foul, Goins singled to left
            • W. Merrifield: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Merrifield flied out to right
            • End of the 9th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 8TH INNING
            • Tim Hill relieved Kevin McCarthy
            • B. Miller: Foul, Strike looking, Ball, Miller grounded out to shortstop
            • A. Hechavarria: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Hechavarria grounded out to second
            • M. Smith: Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Smith struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • S. Romo Pitching:
            • S. Perez: Strike swinging, Perez flied out to shallow right
            • Jonny Venters relieved Sergio Romo
            • M. Moustakas: Ball, Moustakas grounded out to second
            • A. Escobar: Strike looking, Escobar singled to right center
            • A. Gordon: Foul, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Gordon struck out swinging
            • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 7TH INNING
            • Kevin McCarthy relieved Ian Kennedy
            • C. Cron: Strike looking, Foul, Strike looking, Cron struck out looking
            • J. Wendle: Ball, Wendle flied out to left
            • D. Robertson: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Robertson struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • J. Alvarado Pitching:
            • A. Gordon: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Gordon walked
            • H. Dozier: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Dozier doubled to left center, Gordon to third
            • A. Almonte: Almonte grounded out to first
            • R. Goins: Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Goins struck out swinging
            • Sergio Romo relieved Jose Alvarado
            • W. Merrifield: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Merrifield singled to center, Gordon and Dozier scored
            • J. Jay: Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Jay grounded out to first
            • End of the 7th (2 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 6TH INNING
            • I. Kennedy Pitching:
            • M. Smith: Strike (foul tip), Strike looking, Smith doubled to deep right
            • C. Gomez: Ball, Ball, Foul, Gomez hit sacrifice bunt to pitcher, Smith to third
            • J. Sucre: Foul, Ball, Sucre hit sacrifice bunt to first, Smith scored
            • D. Span: Foul, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Span struck out looking
            • Middle of the 6th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • Johnny Field in right
            • Jose Alvarado relieved Anthony Banda
            • J. Jay: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Jay grounded out to second
            • S. Perez: Ball, Ball, Perez grounded out to third
            • M. Moustakas: Ball, Moustakas singled to right
            • A. Escobar: Foul, Strike (foul tip), Escobar grounded out to third
            • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 5TH INNING
            • I. Kennedy Pitching:
            • J. Wendle: Ball, Strike looking, Wendle popped out to first
            • M. Duffy: Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Duffy lined out to left
            • B. Miller: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Miller walked
            • A. Hechavarria: Hechavarria grounded out to third
            • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Daniel Robertson at third
            • A. Gordon: Gordon singled to left
            • H. Dozier: Ball, Dozier singled to right, Gordon to second
            • A. Almonte: Almonte hit sacrifice bunt to third, Gordon to third, Dozier to second
            • R. Goins: Ball, Goins grounded out to shortstop, Gordon scored, Dozier to third
            • W. Merrifield: Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Ball, Merrifield singled to left, Dozier scored, Merrifield out at second
            • End of the 5th (1 Run, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 4TH INNING
            • I. Kennedy Pitching:
            • J. Sucre: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Sucre grounded out to second
            • D. Span: Strike looking, Ball, Span flied out to left
            • C. Cron: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike looking, Cron struck out looking
            • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • A. Banda Pitching:
            • S. Perez: Ball, Ball, Perez grounded out to shortstop
            • M. Moustakas: Moustakas lined out to right
            • A. Escobar: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Escobar struck out swinging
            • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 3RD INNING
            • I. Kennedy Pitching:
            • B. Miller: Strike looking, Miller doubled to deep right
            • A. Hechavarria: Hechavarria flied out to deep right, Miller to third
            • M. Smith: Smith hit sacrifice fly to left, Miller scored
            • C. Gomez: Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Gomez struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 3rd (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • A. Banda Pitching:
            • R. Goins: Goins fouled out to left
            • W. Merrifield: Strike looking, Merrifield popped out to first
            • J. Jay: Ball, Jay grounded out to second
            • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 2ND INNING
            • I. Kennedy Pitching:
            • D. Span: Foul, Foul, Ball, Span flied out to right
            • C. Cron: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Cron reached on an infield single to third
            • J. Wendle: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul tip, Wendle struck out on foul tip
            • M. Duffy: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Duffy flied out to shallow right
            • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • A. Banda Pitching:
            • M. Moustakas: Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Moustakas doubled to deep left
            • A. Escobar: Strike looking, Escobar singled to right, Moustakas to third
            • A. Gordon: Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Gordon grounded out to first, Moustakas scored, Escobar to second
            • H. Dozier: Ball, Foul, Foul, Dozier flied out to deep center, Escobar to third
            • A. Almonte: Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Almonte lined out to shortstop
            • End of the 2nd (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 1ST INNING
            • I. Kennedy Pitching:
            • D. Span: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Span singled to center
            • C. Cron: Cron homered to center, Span scored
            • J. Wendle: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Wendle lined out to left
            • M. Duffy: Duffy doubled to left center
            • B. Miller: Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Miller walked
            • A. Hechavarria: Ball, Foul, Hechavarria singled to left, Duffy scored, Miller to second
            • M. Smith: Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike looking, Smith struck out looking
            • C. Gomez: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Gomez walked, Miller to third, Hechavarria to second
            • J. Sucre: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Sucre struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 1st (3 Runs, 4 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • A. Banda Pitching:
            • W. Merrifield: Strike looking, Merrifield popped out to shortstop
            • J. Jay: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Jay reached on an infield single to shortstop
            • S. Perez: Perez grounded into double play shortstop to second to first, Jay out at second
            • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)