AUDIO: Royals Silent In Home Opener

Posted April 12, 2017

Rookie Jharel Cotton rebounded from a rough initial start to pitch a gem as the Oakland Athletics beat Kansas City 2-0 on Monday in the Royals' home opener. During an offseason of firsts without Ventura, the Kansas City Royals organization planned a special final piece of the healing process for the players and fans. The young pitcher, an instrumental part of their back-to-back World Series appearances, was killed in an offseason vehicle crash in the Dominican Republic.

"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".

According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetDSI, the Royals are -116 money line favorites over the A's, who have odds of +106 to pull off the small upset today in Kansas City. Ventura's death in an offseason vehicle crash in his native Dominican Republic left a gaping hole in the tightly knit organization, and the wounds that began to heal in spring training were raw once again as the Royals prepared to honor Ventura before playing their home opener against the Oakland Athletics.

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"I don't think you can ever disassociate yourself from that or make yourself numb to that because he was such a big part of us, and he was still very much a part of who we are", Yost said. 'It's still heartbreaking to a lot of guys'.

Monday's ceremony included a saxophonist playing "Amazing Grace" and several of Ventura's teammates laying a banner on the mound. She then delivered the pitch to her son's longtime catcher, Salvador Perez. We just have to play for him. "The wind was blowing out so hard and ball hit that high, it just took off".

Cotton had a rough 2017 debut, allowing five earned runs on eight hits and two walks over 4 1/3 innings in Wednesday's 5-0 loss to the Angels. It's the only thing that's going to heal things, is time'.