HOUSTON (AP) — Kansas City rookie Yordano Ventura entered Tuesday night's game winless in four career starts dating to last season despite posting a 2.53 ERA in those games.
On Tuesday night, he pitched seven solid innings and finally got his first victory as the Royals beat the Houston Astros 4-2.
"I'm just really proud for him because that was like his fifth time he's gone for his first win and he's had an opportunity to win ballgames two or three times and we couldn't hold it for him," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "To finally get that out of the way for him, to get his first major league win was big for all of us tonight."
Omar Infante homered and drove in two runs for the Royals.
Ventura (1-0), an elite prospect with a 100 mph fastball, allowed four hits and one earned run with seven strikeouts in seven innings — both career highs. His seven strikeouts were the most by a Kansas City rookie since Will Smith also fanned seven on Sept. 11, 2012.
"I feel really good," Ventura said in Spanish through a translator. "I feel that the team supported me and played really good defense and scored a lot of runs for me. It gives me a lot of satisfaction so I can keep working hard to help the team win."
Infante had a solo shot in the first inning off Lucas Harrell (0-3) and added an RBI in the third inning as the Royals found some offense after managing just five runs combined as they were swept in a weekend series at Minnesota.
Eric Hosmer and Billy Butler had an RBI each for Kansas City and Lorenzo Cain had a pair of hits for his fourth multihit game this season.
"We just got a couple of timely hits today and as an offense we need to do a better job of that," Hosmer said. "The way our pitchers have thrown we've got to find a way to produce runs for them and tonight we did a good job of that."
Carlos Corporan homered in the fifth inning for the Astros, who have scored two runs or fewer in three of their past four games.
Harrell gave up five hits and four runs in five innings and has allowed 14 runs in three starts combined this season.