But what he couldn't do was find a way to get Cubs outfielder Chris Coghlan out. Ventura might have walked away with a win instead of watching the Royals drop a 2-1 decision in 11 innings had he found a way to get Coghlan out in the seventh.
With a runner on second and the Royals holding a 1-0 lead with two out in the seventh inning, Ventura served up a high changeup to Coghlan, who drilled a liner into right-center for an RBI single.
Coghlan already had doubled and singled earlier in the game.
"He'd hit a curveball in the first at-bat and a fastball in the other at-bat," Ventura said through interpreter Christian Colon. "He hadn't seen the changeup so I threw it and kind of left it up, and he put a good swing on it. And it found the gap.
"It was his day. He had a good day."
Manager Ned Yost said he did not consider bringing in a reliever for Ventura at that point.
"[Ventura] was throwing the ball well," Yost said.
Ventura allowed just four hits while striking out six through seven innings.
"He just had everything going," Yost said. "Had a really good curveball. Good command with his fastball and mixed in some changeups. He was really good."
Added Ventura, "I was just trying to throw a lot of strikes early. All my pitches were working, and they were swinging. I wanted to get deeper into the game, and I did."
The chilly conditions -- 47 degrees at game time -- affected the pitchers, too, Ventura said.
"Of course, sometimes I couldn't feel the ball," he said. "And sometimes when I tried to throw in breaking pitches it was difficult. You have to adjust."