Volquez cruises as Royals blank Yankees
KANSAS CITY -- Right-hander Edinson Volquez tossed seven shutout innings and Salvador Perez homered and drove in two runs as the Royals stymied the Yankees, 6-0, on Sunday, taking two of three in the series at Kauffman Stadium.
Volquez was sharp from the onset, retiring the first 11 hitters he faced until Alex Rodriguez doubled. Volquez gave up just three hits, walked none and struck out five.
"He's just been very consistent for us all season," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "And today he was fantastic."
Left-hander Chris Capuano made his 2015 debut for the Yankees after recovering from a right quad strain. Capuano went three-plus innings, giving up four hits and four runs.
Two straight walks by Capuano to Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer to open the fourth triggered a three-run Royals rally -- Kendrys Morales, Perez and Omar Infante all delivered RBI hits in the inning.
"The second time through I think we just had better at-bats," Hosmer said. "Those walks were pretty huge for us."
Yost added, "We had to make an adjustment. First time through I think our guys all thought Capuano was going to throw them fastballs in the zone. But then they came back and realized that's not going to happen."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Sal gets it started: With one out in the second inning, Perez reached after a 3-2 pitch on the outside corner and pulled the ball just over the left-field fence and into the Royals' bullpen for his fifth homer of the season. Perez wasn't finished. In the fourth, he put the Royals up 3-0 when he pulled a Capuano slider into the hole between short and third, scoring Hosmer.
Of the homer, Yost said, "I didn't think he had enough to get it out, but he's a strong guy."
Cappy's quick hook: The Yankees expected to use Capuano for 95 pitches or more in his first start of the season, but the veteran left-hander surrendered the ball after just 63 pitches and three-plus innings as he faded the second time through the order. All four batters that Capuano faced in the fourth inning reached base, with three of them scoring. More >
"It's disappointing," Capuano said. "Physically, I feel great. It was nice to be out there competing. I hope to stay locked in for the whole game next time, not have a letdown like I did in the fourth."
Mr. Triples hits a double: Royals rookie outfielder Paulo Orlando caught the baseball world by surprise by hitting five triples in April. He almost had another one Sunday. With Infante on first in the sixth inning, Orlando ripped a liner in the left-center-field gap and to the wall. But Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner got to the ball quickly and held Orlando to a double -- it did score Infante, though, which put the Royals ahead 5-0.
Enter strandman: There weren't many significant threats against Volquez, but the Yankees made some noise in the fourth inning as Rodriguez dented the wall in right-center field for a double and Mark Teixeira was hit by a pitch. Volquez rebounded to strike out Brian McCann swinging, the only time that the Yankees had a runner in scoring position against Volquez. New York left the bases loaded in the eighth against Wade Davis as Rodriguez struck out on an 0-2 cutter and Garrett Jones bounced out.
"You have to give those guys credit. We hit a lot of balls hard," Rodriguez said. "Those guys are playing good baseball, they have an incredible defense. You have to just turn the page."
"He was hitting his spots, throwing the ball hard, mixing in a good changeup and a good curveball. It's as good as I've ever seen him." -- Teixeira, on Volquez
Yankees: Following an off-day on Monday, the Yankees will open a two-game Interleague set with the Nationals on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. ET in Washington. Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi (3-1, 4.14 ERA) draws the start for New York, opposite left-hander Gio Gonzalez (3-2, 4.25 ERA). Eovaldi is 2-4 with a 4.76 ERA in seven career starts vs. Washington.
Royals: After an off-day Monday, the Royals start a two-game Interleague set with the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. CT at The K. Yordano Ventura (2-3, 5.36 ERA) makes his first start at home since April 18: He has a 3.34 career ERA at The K.
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