KANSAS CITY -- Right-hander Edinson Volquez threw his first career no-hitter on Saturday in a 3-0 Marlins' victory over Arizona.Quite possibly, Volquez got a little help from up above.Volquez performed the feat on what would have been the 26th birthday of the late Yordano Ventura, who was Volquez's former teammate
KANSAS CITY -- Right-hander Edinson Volquez threw his first career no-hitter on Saturday in a 3-0 Marlins' victory over Arizona.
Quite possibly, Volquez got a little help from up above.
Volquez performed the feat on what would have been the 26th birthday of the late Yordano Ventura, who was Volquez's former teammate with the Royals and a close friend. Ventura died in a car accident in January in the Dominican Republic.
Volquez acknowledged Ventura's birthday before the first pitch Saturday by posting a picture of the two of them on Instagram.
Volqeuz, who signed as a free agent with the Marlins this offseason, lockered next to Ventura during Volquez's two seasons with the Royals in 2015-16. Royals management organized that arrangement purposely, hoping Volquez would serve as a mentor. It was a role Volquez embraced.
:: Edinson Volquez's no-hitter ::
"He's my little bro," Volquez said last season.
After Saturday's no-hitter, Volquez paid tribute to Ventura.
"It's a great feeling," Volquez told reporters. "I dedicated this game to Jose Fernandez and Yordano Ventura. And I just do it for them … they're watching right now. And they might feel really happy right now.
"[Ventura] was one of my best friends. … I'm pretty sure he's in the right place right now, enjoying this moment."
Upon news of Volquez's no-hitter, his former Royals family reacted jubilantly.
Rene Francisco, the Royals' assistant general manager of international operations, helped sign Ventura and is close to Volquez as well.
"Very special for Eddie, especially on Yordano's birthday!" Francisco told MLB.com. "I'm sure that Eddie had Yordano on his mind once he was tasting the no-hitter. What a day for the Royals family."
Several other Royals responded to the no-hitter of their former teammate as well:
Earlier in the day, Royals manager Ned Yost reflected on what would have been Ventura's 26th birthday.
"This is probably stupid," Yost said, "but every day when I get here, I'm generally the first one here, and the clubhouse is totally pitch black. I'll go and turn on all the lights, and I'll walk around the clubhouse.
"I always kind of stop at his locker and look at his pictures. We're all consciously or subconsciously reminded of him every single day. We try to push out the memories of the cemetery where he is buried and where he's at now compared to where he was -- that's what I try to do."
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.