Matt Barnes

Saturday's Red Sox-Royals matchups: Matt Barnes vs. Yordano Ventura

August 22, 2015 - 3:49 am
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The third game of a four-game series between the Red Sox and Royals will pit Matt Barnes against Kansas City's Yordano Ventura.

Barnes has been back and forth between Boston and Triple-A Pawtucket this season. The 25-year-old has accrued a 3-3 record to go along with a 6.59 ERA this season in the majors. He sports an unseemly 1.866 WHIP, allowing 13.2 hits per nine innings. He has also demonstrated the ability to put hitters away, compiling 29 strikeouts in just 27 1/3 innings of work. He has an average fastball velocity of 94.9 mph.

Barnes has made 22 major league appearances on the season, all but one of which has come in relief. He spent the beginning of July with the Sox before being sent to Pawtucket. His return to Boston came in the form of his first career start on Monday.

The right-hander took a loss at the hands of the Indians by a score of 8-2. He threw five innings, allowing six runs on six hits and three walks. He allowed a home run and struck out seven. Despite the less-than-gaudy results, Barnes felt confident about his starting debut.

"I felt really good out there," Barnes said. "I thought I had really good command of all three pitches."

"I thought Matt threw the ball really, really well," interim manager Torey Lovullo said, echoing his starter. "He gave us everything we expected. He was commanding his fastball. Everything was crisp and downhill. He was effective. He did his job for us tonight."

Ventura is in his second full season, owning a 4.82 ERA and an even 7-7 record. The 24-year-old has a 1.311 WHIP and 4.05 FIP in 19 starts on the year.

For Ventura, 2015 has yielded a regression from a very impressive rookie season a year ago. Last year, the right-hander finished with a 14-10 record and 3.20 ERA, good enough to rank sixth in American League Rookie of the Year voting.

He also demonstrated impressive composure in the postseason for the AL champion Royals, making five appearances (four starts) and tallying a 3.20 ERA. In two starts in the World Series against the Giants, Ventura hurled 12 1/3 solid innings, allowing just two runs and earning a 1.46 ERA and 1-0 record.

Ventura received a no-decision in his last start against the Angels on Sunday, but he could very easily have gotten the win. The Dominican product tossed seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits while striking out seven. The Royals scored the game-tying run in the ninth inning before winning in walkoff fashion in the 10th. Kendrys Morales singled home Ben Zobrist to seal the victory for KC.

"I wanted to see the old Ventura out there and we saw it," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "That's good for us and bad for everybody else."

Royals vs. Barnes (RHP)

Jarrod Dyson is 0-for-1 with a strikeout against Barnes.

Eric Hosmer is 0-for-1 with a strikeout against Barnes.

Omar Infante is 1-for-1 with an RBI against Barnes.

Mike Moustakas is 1-for-1 in his career against Barnes.

Salvador Perez struck out in his only plate appearance against Barnes.

Lorenzo Cain walked in his only plate appearance against Barnes.

No other Royals have faced Barnes.

Red Sox vs. Ventura (RHP)

Jackie Bradley Jr. (five plate appearances): .400 AVG/.400 OBP/.400 SLG, 1 strikeout

Mookie Betts (4): .667/.750/1.000, 1 double, 1 RBI

Xander Bogaerts (4): .250/.250/.250, 1 strikeout

Brock Holt (3): .667/.667/.667

David Ortiz (3): .000/.000/.000

Alejandro De Aza (2): .000/.000/.000

No other Red Sox have faced Ventura.

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