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Grieving Young puts pain aside to help Royals

Veteran reliever fans six straight after rain delay

KANSAS CITY -- It has been a difficult stretch for Royals right-hander Chris Young lately.

Young's father passed away less than two weeks ago. A day after his father's death, Young went out and threw five no-hit innings, playing because he thought his father would want him to be with his team.

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Last Monday, Young was back in Dallas for his father's funeral. And on Thursday, Young, still with a heavy heart, came in unexpectedly for starter Yordano Ventura after a 49-minute rain delay in Game 1 of the American League Division Series.

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Young pitched superbly, throwing four innings of one-run ball. He walked two and struck out seven (including six straight to begin his outing), coming within two strikeouts of tying the Royals' postseason franchise record. It wasn't enough, as Kansas City lost, 5-2, to Houston.

"Chris has been throwing the ball so well for us lately, it gave us confidence to go out in the third inning to hold the score," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He did a good job. Got a fastball up to [George] Springer that he powered out of the ballpark. But got us into the sixth inning in the game, and that's what you're looking for."

Young said he is trying to move past his grieving.

"I have a job to do," he said. "Life goes on. But it's certainly been a tough week and a half. But these guys have been there for me. So I'm trying to do the same for them."

Asked if his performance on Thursday would have honored his father, Young said, "The way I live my life and try to do my best day in and day out and try to be a good person is the best way for me to honor my dad. I just try to do my best no matter the circumstances. I wish we would've come out and won, but we'll bounce back. No one said it was easy. We're a resilient team."

Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB
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