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Volquez, Royals not sharp in 5-2 loss to Red Sox

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No sweep.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Quick Hits

  • Whit Merrifield recorded his first major league hit off David Price. It was a quick hit.

Edinson Volquez and the pitching staff had trouble recording outs, but in the end they recorded the required number of outs to play a complete baseball game. They did not do so very well.

Volquez was in trouble each of the first three innings. Mookie Betts led off the game with a double to left field, giving Whit Merrifield his first major league action fairly early. Xander Bogaerts walked, and David Ortiz followed with a "sacrifice" fly to move Betts to third. With runners on the corners and only one out, Volquez induced an inning-ending double play from Hanley Ramirez.

Volquez made it to two outs much easier in the second inning with a strikeout and a popout, but Jackie Bradley, Jr. then hit a home run to score the first run of the game. The pitch was a fastball on the outside corner, but Bradley just went with the pitch and muscled it out to left-center field. Volquez allowed another single before ending the inning. Betts led off the third with another homer, a pulled shot to the fountains beyond left field, but Volquez managed to retire the next three batters in a row.

Volquez ran into trouble again in the sixth. He got David Ortiz and Ramirez out to start the inning, but he unraveled from there. A walk, a double, and an intentional walk to Jackie Bradley Jr. loaded the bases for Christian Vazquez, who singled in two runs.

Volquez really struggled. He had four walks and five strikeouts in six innings of work. He threw only 55 strikes in 97 pitches and allowed at least one baserunner each inning. That's not good; I'm not entirely sure how he ended up giving up only four runs.

Volquez was not the only struggling Royal, however. With David Price on the mound, the Royals had difficulty scoring any runs. The lone run was a solo home run from Salvador Perez on a clear mistake pitch. Here's where the catcher set the target.

target

Volquez made a similar mistake pitch to Betts on his dinger. Here is where Price's pitch ended up. Right in Salvy's wheelhouse. Or any player's wheelhouse, really. Major League Baseball players, who are paid to play the game of baseball, are paid well because they do not miss this pitch.

blast

Volquez himself probably could have taken that yard.

Volquez's uncontrollable shadow hung over the bullpen after he exited the game. Throwing their big guns in the day game, the Royals bullpen was limited. Peter Moylan, Scott Alexander, and Alec Mills, making his major league debut, combined to give up a bunch of singles and walks in the seventh and eighth innings. Only one run scored.

Volquez was simply outdueled by David Price, but the Royals finally managed to knock him out in the eighth inning. Alcides Escobar doubled, which prompted a pitching change to Junichi Tazawa, and scored on an ensuing Lorenzo Cain single. Sadly, Eric Hosmer hit a line drive double play to end the threat.

Volquez and the Royals just could not put it together tonight. However, they did manage to take two of three from the Red Hot Chili Peppers Red Sox, so I guess we'll just have to live with that.