Indians rally past Royals in eighth inning for the win
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Edinson Volquez was the Kansas City Royals’ opening day starter this season and an important piece of the rotation during last year’s World Series run, starting five postseason games.
Saturday’s start — a no-decision in a 6-3 loss to the Cleveland Indians — may have been his last with the defending champs.
Volquez finished the season winless in his final seven starts. He was charged with three runs, five hits, four walks and a hit batter over five innings. The right-hander is eligible for free agency after the season and could pitch for somebody else in 2017.
"I hope not," Volquez said. "You have to wait until the World Series and see what happens."
Volquez went 0-1 with a 6.48 ERA in eight home starts after the All-Star break and finished with a 10-11 record and 5.37 ERA. He allowed 217 hits, the second highest total in the AL.
"I think I was kind of struggling all year," Volquez said. "It was one of those years. Everything doesn’t go your way."
Francisco Lindor hit a two-out, two-run double during an eighth-inning rally, helping the Indians beat Kansas City.
All three Indians runs in the eighth were unearned after second baseman Whit Merrifield’s error on pinch-hitter Abraham Almonte’s grounder, which allowed Rajai Davis to score with one out.
"It was right at me but the way it looked, it was going to be a little bit to my right," Merrifield said. "I took a little bit of a false step and it cost me."
Rookie left-hander Matt Strahm (2-2) issued Davis a leadoff walk and Davis stole second, his AL-leading 43rd steal.
Kevin McCarthy replaced Strahm and walked the bases loaded before Lindor’s double over third base.
While the Royals struck out 15 times, including Alex Gordon four times, Kansas City pitchers walked eight.
"Walks killed us," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Four runs scored off of walks. That got us a little bit."
Mike Clevinger (3-3) won for the AL Central champs by retiring the only two batters he faced. Cody Allen worked the ninth for his 31st save in 34 opportunities.
Tyler Naquin singled home Coco Crisp in the second for the Indians’ first run. Lonnie Chisenhall tripled in the third and scored on Edinson Volquez’s wild pitch. Chisenhall’s sacrifice fly in the fifth scored Lindor, putting the Indians up 3-1.
Trevor Bauer yielded two runs in the sixth on successive doubles by Kendrys Morales and Paulo Orlando to lead off and Alcides Escobar’s RBI single. Merrifield’s two-out single in the third scored Drew Butera for the first run off Bauer.
The Indians named Bauer the starter for their postseason opener Thursday against the Boston Red Sox.
Bauer threw 96 pitches, tuning up for the postseason by striking out nine over six innings of three-run ball.
Cy Young Award candidate Corey Kluber will pitch Game 2 on Friday. Kluber has not pitched since leaving a start Monday with a quadriceps injury.
Royals: All-Star C Salvador Perez was not in the lineup for the third straight game because of a sore knee and hamstring strain. … RHP Dillon Gee, who was treated for two blood clots after pitching Sept. 25, tweeted, "Got the blood clot out of my vein. Another step done, on to the next one!!"