Coleman, Mariot give bullpen break in opener

Coleman, Mariot give bullpen break in opener

KANSAS CITY -- With the Royals falling behind the Astros, 7-1, by the fifth inning on Monday night, manager Ned Yost was grateful that Michael Mariot, who relieved starter Yordano Ventura in the third inning, and Louis Coleman could finish out the 9-2 rout.

"Yesterday was a big boost for us, having Mariot and Coleman finish that game off," Yost said before Tuesday night's game. "I mean there were points where you get into the third inning and you don't have [Tim] Collins, I didn't have [Kelvin] Herrera because they had thrown back-to-back days. I wasn't going to use [Wade] Davis or [Greg] Holland or [Aaron] Crow in that game.

"So, you're just hoping you can get 6 2/3 innings out of those guys and, if not, we'd have probably had to go to Brett Hayes or somebody to finish that game up. But they did a great job of keeping everybody down there, keeping them fresh and available at full strength today."

Yep, Hayes is the Royals' backup catcher. And, why not, he's already used to throwing that 60 feet 6 inches quite often.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.