KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Privately, the Royals don't want Johnny Cueto anywhere near a road start in this World Series, though that's not exactly the way manager Ned Yost put it.
"Volquez lined up perfectly for the first spot for us," Yost said of righthander Edinson Volquez, whom he tabbed to start Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium.
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Yost could have gone with Cueto, the club's big acquisition at the trade deadline, but instead selected the righthander for Game 2. That lines up Cueto to start an if-necessary Game 6, which would be back in Kansas City, and skip the Citi Field portion of the series entirely.
Why avoid Cueto on the road? His two career road experiences in the postseason have not gone well.
In Game 3 of the ALCS against the Blue Jays, with a hostile Rogers Centre crowd chanting "Cue-to! Cue-to!" from the first pitch on, Toronto scored eight runs in two innings-plus.
As a member of the Reds in the 2013 NL wild-card game in Pittsburgh, with another boisterous crowd chanting his name early and often, Cueto allowed four runs in 31/3 innings.
"Johnny really feeds off the home crowd," Yost said. "We're able to have Johnny in Game 2 and Game 6 here at home, where we think that gives us a bit of advantage having Johnny pitching at home in front of our home crowd. They really, really give him a lot of energy. He's pitched his best games here."
One of them was the ALDS-deciding Game 5 at Kauffman Stadium against the Astros. Cueto allowed two runs and two hits in eight innings.
Righthander Yordano Ventura is slated to pitch Game 3 at Citi Field, followed by righthander Chris Young, a former Met, in Game 4 and Volquez in Game 5.
"We really like Chris Young in Game 4," Yost said. "He's a guy that it doesn't matter, there's nothing that's going to distract him, there's nothing that's going to slow him down. He's had a great year for us, he's been a great addition for us. We like the way it sets up with Volquez, Cueto, Ventura and Chris Young."