KANSAS CITY -- The disputed interference call against Lorenzo Cain finally got a video assessment by Royals manager Ned Yost on Saturday.
"It was close," Yost said. "The four magic words: 'In the umpire's judgment.'"
Home-plate umpire Chad Fairchild called Cain out for interfering with catcher Bryan Holaday's throw on Nori Aoki's dash to second base in the eighth inning of Friday night's 2-1 loss to Detroit.
Yost thought Holaday got his throw to second base away before Cain got in front of him. The ball sailed past second base and Aoki reached third.
"I've seen that play called interference, I've seen that play not called interference," Yost said. "The umpires always fall back on 'in my judgment.'"
Although contact between catcher and batter is not necessary by rule for interference to be called, Yost views that as almost essential.
"They won't call it, generally, unless you make contact. As catchers we were always taught, just run right into him and throw the ball in the ground," Yost said. "Make it real obvious that you ran into him, even though you could still make a throw."
At any rate, Cain was called out and Aoki had to return to first base from third. The inning ended without the Royals scoring.
"The angle I saw it was hard to see if he made contact," Yost said. "In the umpire's judgment, it was interference."
Ventura available in KC's 'pen for Tigers finale
KANSAS CITY -- Yordano Ventura has pitched in 20 Major League games, all of them starts, but he might get a chance out of the bullpen on Sunday.
Ventura will be stationed to back up veteran left-hander Bruce Chen, who is making his first start since April 24 and only his third appearance since then. Chen missed two months with a back problem.
Just how long Chen might last is an open question.
"I'm ready to do anything I can," Chen said. "If they want me to go out there and throw 100 pitches, that's what I'm going to do. But the most important thing is to try to throw good innings and help the team win."
Even three or four good innings might be enough because with Ventura available because of the coming four-day All-Star break, manager Ned Yost's bullpen is well-stocked if Chen runs into early trouble.
"He'll have plenty of backup. We'll be in good shape. We can bring Ventura out of the pen if we need him," Yost said. "He'll go to the 'pen tomorrow. It's his fourth day [of rest]. He can give us three or four innings. He wanted to go to the 'pen [Saturday], I said no, I'll give you one more day."
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.