BALTIMORE -- Even though the Royals had a five-run lead on Friday night, closer Greg Holland had not pitched since the previous Saturday and manager Ned Yost felt obliged to get him some work. So he pitched the ninth inning in relief of Yordano Ventura and closed out a 5-0 win over the Orioles.
"You don't like doing those deals, at least I don't," Yost said, "because you never know when you're going to get on one of those runs where you're going to need him three or four days in a row, and you've ended up using one of them in a non-save situation. But after five days, you have to keep him sharp."
Holland zipped through the three Orioles batters he faced with a fly ball and two strikeouts.
"The good thing about it is, he got his work done quick," Yost said. "His pitch count was 11 so it was almost like a perfect scenario. He got in and did it quick, and didn't have to work hard."
Ventura's victory rates with KC rookie feats
BALTIMORE -- Yordano Ventura stirred up all sorts of dust in the Royals' archives with his latest performance.
Ventura pitched the first eight innings of Friday night's 5-0 victory which was Kansas City's first shutout at Baltimore since July 9, 2004, when left-hander Darrell May beat the Orioles, 7-0, on a five-hitter.
Ventura's eight shutout innings were the most by a Royals rookie since Bryan Bullington worked the first eight innings of a 1-0 win over the Yankees on Aug. 15, 2010. That was Bullington's first and only victory in the Majors; the next year, he began a successful stay in Japan with the Toyo Carp.
Ventura's eight strikeouts were the most by a KC rookie since Danny Duffy fanned nine at St. Louis on June 19, 2011.
And Ventura was the first rookie in franchise history to strike out at least six in four straight games since Royals Hall of Famer Dennis Leonard did so in four starts in August and September 1979.
Valencia spells Moose at hot corner vs. O's
BALTIMORE -- Danny Valencia got this third start this season as the Royals' third baseman in place of Mike Moustakas on Saturday night. The reason was the Orioles started left-handed pitcher Wei-Yin Chen.
Valencia, a right-handed batter, usually hits lefties well -- .329 in his career including 2-for-6 previously this year.
"This guy's a real good pitcher, but he's not like Chris Sale [of the White Sox] against lefties. It's not a bad matchup for Moose, it's just trying to keep Danny playing a little bit here and there," manager Ned Yost said.
Moustakas was 2-for-6 against Chen while Valencia was 0-for-3, small samples indeed.
"It's a tough balancing act because we need 'em both. So, you do it the way we've been doing it," Yost said. "You let Danny play against certain left-handers and there may be days there'll be tough left-handers and we'll pinch-hit Danny for Moose. But those days are only when we're behind. So, you keep 'em going that way, like we'll pinch-hit Moose for Danny in certain situations. We can keep 'em both going that way, hopefully."
Moustakas has picked up his pace a bit on this trip, hitting .250 (5-for-20) with two homers and five RBIs.
Yost also had right-handed hitter Justin Maxwell in center field against Chen instead of left-handed Jarrod Dyson. Yost plans to platoon the two as they fill in for injured Lorenzo Cain.
Dyson was 8-for-15 (.533) with five infield hits in the first five games of the road trip.
Collins successful in first rehab appearance
BALTIMORE -- Left-hander Tim Collins, on the disabled list with a left flexor strain, had a successful first outing in his rehab assignment with Triple-A Omaha.
Collins struck out the side in the eighth inning of a 10-5 loss at New Orleans on Friday night. He used 17 pitches -- nine strikes.
"He threw the ball good, three punchouts. Fastball up to 94 [mph]," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He was throwing high fastballs that they were swinging through and fouling off. It's a good first step. I'm not looking for him to go and dominate the world in his first rehab outing. It's a good first step because he got out of it healthy and his fastball was up to 94."
Collins is expected to pitch at least another time or two for the Storm Chasers.
"Again it's going to revolve around him getting to where he can use all three of his pitches to get big league hitters out," Yost said.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.