The matchup between the Kansas City Royals and the Toronto Blue Jays has been expected to be a truly difficult battle, as there were questions about whether or not the Royals offense could keep up with the Blue Jays bats. Likewise, would the Royals rotation be able to do enough to slow down that offensive onslaught? Well, for one night at least, the Royals provided an emphatic answer to the affirmative in their 5-0 defeat of the Blue Jays.
Royals starter Edinson Volquez struggled through a 24 pitch first inning and battled his command at times, but he was still able to mix his pitches effectively and minimize the Blue Jays offense. Through the first three innings, Volquez allowed only a pair of walks as he stifled the Toronto bats.
The Royals offense had been stymied by Blue Jays starter Marco Estrada through the first two innings, but came to life in the third. Alex Gordon led off the inning with a double, and scored on Alcides Escobar‘s one out double. After a ground out moved Escobar to third, Lorenzo Cain singled to right to give the Royals a 2-0 lead. Salvador Perez launched a solo home run in the fourth to give the Royals a bit more breathing room.
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Volquez was able to get through the first five innings without much concern, but began to struggle once again in the sixth. He walked Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista to lead off the inning, and the Blue Jays appeared to have some life. However, Volquez reached back and through pure grit, was able to retire the side preserving the Kansas City Royals lead.
Kansas City added more insurance in the eighth. After putting runners on first and second, Eric Hosmer had an RBI double and Kendrys Morales hit a long sacrifice fly to give the Royals a 5-0 lead. That final margin would hold up, as the Royals took Game One from the Blue Jays.
Volquez earned the win, allowing two hits and four walks while striking out five in his six shutout innings. It may not have been the most dominant performance, but Volquez was able to keep the stellar Blue Jays offense off the scoreboard, which is certainly an accomplishment on its own.
Alcides Escobar, despite seeing six pitches, was 2-3 with two doubles, two runs scored, an RBI and was hit by a pitch in the Kansas City Royals victory.