Ventura, bullpen power Royals to ninth straight win
MIAMI -- Yordano Ventura escaped two threats before turning the game over to the bullpen with a 1-0 lead, and for the Kansas City Royals, that meant another victory.
Ventura pitched six innings and the Royals extended their winning streak to nine games Tuesday by beating the Miami Marlins 1-0.
Three relievers closed out the win and extended the bullpen's streak of 32 consecutive shutout innings since Aug. 10. That broke the franchise record of 29 2/3 consecutive innings set in 1969.
Kelvin Herrera pitched a perfect ninth for his eighth save. The longest winning streak since June 2014 by the Royals (65-60) has gotten them back in the mix in the AL wild-card race.
"The team you're seeing is the team we are," Ventura said.
"We're definitely confident right now," right fielder Lorenzo Cain said.
The Royals won with six hits. They scored the lone run in the sixth when Paulo Orlando led off with a single, stole second and came home on Cain's single.
Ventura (9-9), who reached 101 mph on the scoreboard radar gun, allowed six hits and one walk while striking out six. The Royals' starters have an ERA of 1.69 during the winning streak.
"Those guys have been outstanding," Cain said. "It has been lights-out every night."
Andrew Cashner (4-10) had his best outing in five starts for the Marlins but fell to 0-3 since joining them July 30. He allowed one run in six innings.
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The Marlins had won three straight but were shut out despite totaling seven hits. They went 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position.
"It was one of those games tonight where you didn't feel it was going to take too much," Miami manager Don Mattingly said. "Our guy was throwing the ball good, their guy was throwing it good. We just couldn't really break through."
Miami loaded the bases with two outs in the third, but Marcell Ozuna flied out to end the inning. Ventura pitched around a leadoff double by Ozuna in the sixth.
The Marlins played their 15th consecutive game decided by three runs or less, a club record. They are 7-8 during the stretch.
Ozuna left the game in the eighth inning because of a family emergency. Mattingly said he didn't know whether Ozuna would be available Wednesday.
The Royals played in Miami for the first time since 2008, and it was Eric Hosmer's first game in his hometown. He went 0 for 3 with a walk.
Cain was caught stealing in the sixth when the initial call of safe was overturned by replay.
Marlins: Cashner pitched with a blood blister under a nail on his pitching hand. "Tonight was worse than it has been, but I found a way to get it done," he said.
Royals: LHP Jason Vargas, who is coming back from Tommy John surgery, made his first Triple-A rehab start Monday and allowed three runs in three innings for Omaha.
RHP Jose Fernandez (12-7, 3.05) is scheduled to start Wednesday for Miami against RHP Dillon Gee (5-6, 4.52). In his past four starts, Fernandez is 0-3 with an ERA of 6.00.