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Volquez pleased with final tuneup for WBC '17

Marlins righty ready to represent Dominican Republic in Classic
Special to MLB.com

JUPITER, Fla. -- In his final outing before heading to the World Baseball Classic, an 8-2 Marlins loss to the Mets, Miami right-hander Edinson Volquez was unseasonably effective.

His outing began a bit precariously, but Volquez breezed through the first three innings, barely breaking a sweat. After hitting Mets center fielder Juan Lagares with the first pitch of the game, Volquez settled into a groove and struck out the hot-hitting Michael Conforto. That started a string of seven consecutive batters retired by Volquez before he yielded a one-out double in the third inning.

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JUPITER, Fla. -- In his final outing before heading to the World Baseball Classic, an 8-2 Marlins loss to the Mets, Miami right-hander Edinson Volquez was unseasonably effective.

His outing began a bit precariously, but Volquez breezed through the first three innings, barely breaking a sweat. After hitting Mets center fielder Juan Lagares with the first pitch of the game, Volquez settled into a groove and struck out the hot-hitting Michael Conforto. That started a string of seven consecutive batters retired by Volquez before he yielded a one-out double in the third inning.

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He labored an inning later, giving up a leadoff homer to Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud, and then one out later issued his only walk of the outing. That marked the end of the line for Volquez, who threw 53 pitches; 33 of those for strikes. His final stat line showed two hits allowed and two strikeouts.

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"I'm happy with the way I'm pitching right now," Volquez said. "This was a good one, three innings, one run, I'm really happy right now, because last [Spring Training] wasn't good and the year before that wasn't good."

Volquez leaves Tuesday for the World Baseball Classic to play for his native Dominican Republic. He will meet the team in Sarasota where it faces the Pirates.

:: 2017 World Baseball Classic ::

Volquez is scheduled to pitch Saturday against the United States and teammates Christian Yelich and Giancarlo Stanton.

"Good luck," Volquez said with a smile. "I'm just going to have fun over there and enjoy the game like I always do. Who knows what's going to happen?"

Volquez is not new to pitching in big games, having thrown in the World Series for the Kansas City Royals, but he said that playing for your country against the world's best talent is special.

"You want to do good for your team, your country, but at the same time you've got to control all those emotions," he said.

Martinez, Volquez reportedly lead DR rotation

The game between the U.S. and the Dominican Republic is set for Saturday at Marlins Park. It is a sellout.

"Yeah, [our fans] get kind of crazy a little bit," Volquez said. "We enjoy the game a different way. It's going to be crazy down there. Everybody will be coming from different places, from New York, everywhere."

Volquez was signed by the Marlins as a free agent in December. They are the seventh Major League team that he will have pitched for over his career. The 2008 All-Star is preparing for his 13th Major League season.

He won a career-high 17 games (17-6, 3.21 ERA) with Cincinnati during that All-Star season, while striking out a career-high 206. His 196 innings pitched that season were surpassed only by the 2015 total of 200 1/3 innings with Kansas City.

Volquez has a lifetime record of 89-79 with a 4.44 ERA.

Last season with the Royals, he was 10-11 with a 5.37 ERA. The 33-year-old has been a workhorse over the last three seasons, compiling a total of 582 1/3 innings logged, most of any three-year span during his career.

The World Baseball Classic runs through March 22. In the U.S., games air live exclusively in English on MLB Network and on an authenticated basis via MLBNetwork.com/watch, while ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN provide the exclusive Spanish-language coverage. MLB.TV Premium subscribers in the U.S. have access to watch every tournament game live on any of the streaming service's 400-plus supported devices. The tournament is being distributed internationally across all forms of television, internet, mobile and radio in territories excluding the U.S., Puerto Rico and Japan. Get tickets for games at Marlins Park, Tokyo Dome, Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, Estadio Charros de Jalisco in Mexico, Petco Park, as well as the Championship Round at Dodger Stadium, while complete coverage -- including schedules, video, stats and gear -- is available at WorldBaseballClassic.com.

Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com.

Miami Marlins, Dominican Republic, Edinson Volquez