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Report: Royals pitcher Edinson Volquez loses father shortly before World Series start

Edinson Volquez of the Kansas City Royals throws

Edinson Volquez of the Kansas City Royals throws a pitch in the first inning against the New York Mets during Game One of the 2015 World Series at Kauffman Stadium on Oct. 27, 2015 in Kansas City, Missouri. Credit: Getty Images / Jamie Squire

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Royals righthander Edinson Volquez quite possibly took the mound for Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday night under the most difficult of circumstances.

Volquez's father, Daniel, passed away in the Dominican Republic earlier in the day at the age of 63. He had been battling heart disease.

According to an ESPNDeportes report published just before first pitch, Volquez learned of his father's death on the way to the ballpark, though the Royals throughout the game and then after it insisted the pitcher was not aware of it.

Royals manager Ned Yost said Volquez, at the behest of the family, was not told before the game and did not know until coming into the clubhouse after his outing.

"I guess after the game is when he found out," Yost said.

But ESPNDeportes, in its initial report, quoted a member of Volquez's family saying otherwise.

"It is unfortunate, on a day filled with happiness, something like this happens," the family member said in the report. "But that's a part of life, and it goes on."

Volquez, who left the stadium immediately after his six-inning outing, pitched reasonably well, exceptionally so given the circumstances he may have been dealing with.

The 32-year-old allowed three runs, six hits and one walk, departing with the score tied after the Royals scored twice in the bottom of the sixth to make it 3-3.

Royals pitcher Jeremy Guthrie, who speaks Spanish and often serves as a translator for some of his Hispanic teammates, said he spoke with Volquez briefly after the outing but didn't know for sure if he knew.

He suspected the answer was yes.

"I didn't feel he had the same glow, the same countenance out there [like usual]," Guthrie said. "I saw it as heavy-hearted Edinson pitching but that's just me."

Alcides Escobar's leadoff inside-the-park home run in the bottom of the first gave Volquez a 1-0 lead, one he carried into the fourth. There the Mets got to him as Daniel Murphy led off with a single and went to third on Lucas Duda's one-out single. Travis d'Arnaud hit a ground smash down the third-base line that Mike Moustakas stopped with a dive to his left, but Murphy came in on the infield single to tie it at 1-1.

Curtis Granderson's one-out homer in the fifth gave the Mets a 2-1 lead and Michael Conforto's sacrifice fly in the sixth made it 3-1.

Volquez, who struck out three and stranded five through six innings -- holding the Mets to 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position -- entered Tuesday 1-2 with a 4.32 ERA in three previous starts this postseason. He was victorious in Game 1 of the ALCS against the Blue Jays but lost Game 5.

The righty came out Tuesday night strong, delivering a first-pitch 95-mph strike, his fastball reaching 97 mph in the 11-pitch inning. After getting Granderson and David Wright to fly out, Volquez got Murphy, who had homered in six straight postseason games coming in, looking at an 86-mph changeup.

Volquez retired the first eight hitters he faced before walking Mets DH Kelly Johnson with two outs in the third. Volquez walked Granderson as well, but struck out Wright looking at an 85-mph changeup for the third out, keeping the Royals' 1-0 lead intact.

"Your heart goes out to him and the entire family," said Eric Hosmer, who delivered the game-winning sacrifice fly in the 14th inning. "A time like this is so tough but he went out there and battled for us."


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