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Kansas City Royals send RHP Yordano Ventura to Triple-A Omaha

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KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Yordano Ventura is going back to the minors to try to regain his form from his strong rookie season.

The Royals optioned Ventura to Triple-A Omaha on Tuesday after a string of ineffective outings for the opening-day pitcher.

"A lot of times it's good for players to take a step back, so they can take three or four steps forward," manager Ned Yost said.

The 24-year-old Ventura, who can run his fastball into triple digits, is 4-7 with a 5.19 ERA in 14 starts this year. He spent nearly a month on the disabled list with inflammation of his ulnar nerve.

PHOTO: Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Yordano Ventura throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Monday, July 20, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Yordano Ventura throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Monday, July 20, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Yost acknowledged Ventura is probably feeling some frustration.

"He knows what he's capable of doing," Yost said. "He feels like with his performance a little bit that he's letting everybody down, which is not the case. Everybody believes in him 100 percent."

Left-hander Jason Vargas came off the disabled list and got the start Tuesday night against Pittsburgh. Vargas had been sidelined by a left flexor strain.

Ventura gave up six runs and 10 hits in four-plus innings in Monday night's 10-7 loss to the Pirates. He is 1-3 with a 9.00 ERA in his last four starts.

After going 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA last year and throwing seven scoreless innings to beat San Francisco in Game 6 of the World Series, the Royals signed Ventura to a $23 million, five-year contract at the end of spring training.

"Everybody still knows if we make it back to the World Series he's going to be a big reason why," Yost said. "So just going down and having success for a week or two or three or four or whatever it may be, is going to help him in the long run."

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PHOTO: Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Yordano Ventura throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Monday, July 20, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
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