Cotton dazzles as A's spoil Royals' home opener with 2-0 win

Beth Cruz
April 12, 2017

Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Sean Doolittle earned his first save of the season with three strikeouts Monday in the A's 2-0 win over the Kansas City Royals.

Kennedy allowed just two hits and two walks in six innings on a day where the Royals had a pregame tribute to Yordano Ventura, the Royals pitcher who was killed in a January vehicle crash. Ventura, 25, died in a vehicle crash on January 22 in the Dominican Republic after compiling 38 victories as a Royal and making nine postseason starts.

"I feel very happy, but mostly thankful to God to be here with the Kansas City Royals for Opening Day and for throwing the first pitch". In 93 starts in Kansas City, he went 38-31 with a 3.89 ERA and 1-2 with a 4.66 ERA in nine postseason starts.

Before the home opener against the Oakland Athletics began, the Royals released hundreds of balloons to the sky, kicking off a stirring tribute to Ventura.

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

'I don't know if you can ever disassociate yourself from it, or make yourself numb to it, because he was such a big part of us, ' Royals manager Ned Yost said. She wore her son's No. 30 jersey and delivered the pitch to his longtime catcher, Salvador Perez. 'It's still heartbreaking to a lot of guys'. 'This is not easy because everybody is reminded of Yordano.

"He was more than just a teammate to all of us, he was, you know, family", Third Baseman Moose Moustakas said. The A's were led to victory by seven innings of shutout baseball from Jharel Cotton and a two-run home-run from slugging right fielder Khris Davis. "The wind was blowing out so hard and ball hit that high, it just took off".

The Royals are off on Tuesday and face the A's on Wednesday for game two of the three game series.

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