Royals starter Edinson Volquez continued his strong start in 2016, pitching seven shutout innings to lead Kansas City to a 4-0 win over Detroit Thursday night at Kauffman Stadium.
Alex Gordon helped his pitcher preserve the shutout with an outstanding play in the gap to rob Ian Kinsler of extra bases opening the fourth. The play loomed large later in the inning when the Tigers managed to load the bases before Volquez struck out the streaking Jarrod Saltalamacchia to end the inning.
The KC Royals appeared poised to waste multiple scoring opportunities after leaving the bases loaded against Detroit’s Mike Pelfrey in the first two innings while only scoring one run, but they broke through in the fourth inning to plate three runs despite playing small ball.
Omar Infante opened the fourth with a double down the third base line, followed by a sacrifice bunt by Jarrod Dyson and a sacrifice fly by Alcides Escobar to deep left to score Infante: Royals 2 Tigers 0.
Mike Moustakas then blasted a home run to dead center, Cain walked, and Hosmer singled. The Royals attempted a double steal. Detroit catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia appeared to have made a throw that could get Cain, but third baseman Nick Castellanos let the ball get past him into left—which allowed Cain to score.
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Edinson Volquez‘s velocity is up significantly since last season, and so is his strikeouts. Volquez claims that he spent the last two seasons getting comfortable with the mechanics of keeping the ball down taught by famed pitching guru Ray Searage in Pittsburgh. Now, he’s letting it rip.
The result has been that Volquez has retained the command he turned his career around in 2014, and added a plethora of strikeouts to begin 2016. He looks like an ace right now.
KC Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas slammed his fifth home run this season, showing the power that made him a top prospect in the minor leagues. He’s emerging as a fantasy force so far in 2016.
KEY PITCHING PERFORMANCES:
Kansas City Royals:
Edinson Volquez: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, (W, 3-0)
Mike Pelfrey: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 5 BB, 2 K (L,0-3)
KEY HITTING PERFORMANCES:
Kansas City Royals:
Mike Moustakas: 2-3, 1 R, 1 HR (5), 1 BB, 1 RBI
Alcides Escobar: 2-3, 1 R, 1 RBI
Ian Kinsler: 2-4, 1 2B
The KC Royals will send Chris Young (0-3, 2.04 ERA) to the mound against Yovanni Gallardo (1-0, 5.63 ERA) for Baltimore 7:15 CST at Camden Yards Friday, April 22.