Oakland's Cotton spoils Royals home opener

23. Kansas City Royals

Monday marked the first home game of the season for the Royals, and thus it was their first chance to honor the memory of Yordano Ventura in front of fans in Kansas City.

The Kansas City Royals went on to drop the home opener to the Oakland Athletics 2-0. Cotton settled for a no-decision at Kansas City on September 13 after allowing three runs - one earned - and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings. His only mistake was a 3-0 fat fastball to Davis, who took advantage of the wind blowing out to right to get it over the fence. The Royals will look to overcome their emotions and bounce back from a 5-4, 12-inning loss at Houston on Sunday that concluded their season-opening 2-4 road trip. They had won their last four home openers. Left-hander Sean Doolittle worked the ninth for his first save.

Cain singled in the first and drew two walks.




Cotton (1-1) turned the game over to Santiago Casilla, who struck out the side in the eighth. After Cain's single, the Royals did not get another hit until Raul Mondesi's sixth-inning leadoff single. He advanced to second on the next play, an error by Oakland third baseman Trevor Plouffe, but he couldn't travel any more as center fielder Lorenzo Cain flied to center. Ventura, who went 38-31 with a 3.89 ERA for the Royals from 2013-16, was killed on January 22 in a vehicle crash in his native Dominican Republic.

Monday's ceremony included a saxophonist playing "Amazing Grace" and several of Ventura's teammates laying a banner on the mound.

Ventura's mother, Marisol Hernandez, took the mound to throw out the ceremonial first pitch, wearing her son's No. 30 jersey. The fiery pitcher, an important part of two pennant-winning rotations, died in a January vehicle crash in his native Dominican Republic. Victor Baez, the Royals' Dominican Academy coordinator and a father figure to Ventura, was in the Buck O'Neil seat.

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