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Royals' rotation will get boost with return of two starters

Royals' rotation will get boost with return of two starters
Former Long Beach State star Jason Vargas is expected to return from the DL after the All-Star break. (Hannah Foslien / Getty Images)

The Kansas City Royals could soon have their banged-up starting rotation back to normal.

Right-hander Yordano Ventura will come off the disabled list Thursday to start the series finale against Tampa Bay, and left-hander Jason Vargas is expected to return from the DL after the All-Star break. Both have been out since early June.

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Ventura has been dealing with ulnar neuritis, a condition involving the inflammation of the ulnar nerve in the arm that causes weakness in the hand. Vargas has had a left flexor strain.

The Royals optioned reliever Brandon Finnegan to triple-A Omaha on Wednesday and recalled right-hander Aaron Brooks, who served as their 26th man in Tuesday's doubleheader. The Royals will need to make another roster move when Ventura is activated.

Etc.

Washington Nationals center fielder Denard Span will be sidelined through the All-Star break because of lingering back spasms. Span is batting .305 with a team-high 11 stolen bases. ... The Tampa Bay Rays will bring right-hander Jake Odorizzi off the disabled list and start him Saturday against Houston, with Matt Moore pitching Sunday in their final game before the break. ... The St. Louis Cardinals promoted first baseman Dan Johnson from triple-A Memphis (Tenn.) and optioned relievers Tyler Lyons and Marcus Hatley to Memphis.

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