Sunday, April 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Royals' Volquez unsure he'll pitch after dad's funeral

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — Royals RHP Edinson Volquez said Wednesday that he didn't know whether he would be ready to play in the World Series once he returns to the U.S. after his father's funeral in the Dominican Republic.

Volquez said he was in a lot of pain as his eyes welled with tears while he attended his father's memorial service a day before the funeral.

"Losing a loved one is hard," he said. "My father was everything to me, and he supported me in everything throughout my career. We won the game, but I would have changed that if it meant he could still be alive."

His father, Daniel Volquez, 63, died of heart failure just before the pitcher started Game 1 of the World Series against the Mets on Tuesday night. Volquez said he learned about his father's death when he stepped off the mound after allowing three runs in six innings.

"My wife was waiting for me with the general manager and they told me what had happened after I finished working," he said. "I want to thank my teammates for all their support, to (Johnny) Cueto and Yordano (Ventura), who were the first ones to call me."

Volquez said he would return to the U.S. on Friday or Saturday. "But I don't know if I'll be ready for that appearance," he said.

The Royals were hopeful that Volquez would rejoin them in New York later this week.

BABY CAN WAIT: Royals 2B and former Ray Ben Zobrist has been given marching orders from his wife, Julianna, if she happens to go into labor with their third child in the midst of the World Series.

"She said, 'You just better hit a home run,' " Zobrist said.

She is due three days after Game 7 is scheduled to take place.

"It's just a matter of I can only focus on one thing at a time anyway. She knows that. I'm one-track minded," Zobrist said. "So she already kind of let me know, if we're in the middle of a game, she's probably not going to tell me what's going on, and that's fine, because I trust her and trust our family members around her."

BRAZIL IN K.C.: A year after Chiefs K Cairo Santos became the first Brazilian to play in the NFL, Royals OF Paulo Orlando became the first to play in the World Series. He entered Tuesday in the eighth inning and singled in the 12th.

Santos and Orlando aren't the only sports stars in Kansas City. Paulo Nagamura is one of the best players on Sporting Kansas City, which just qualified for the Major League Soccer playoffs.

The city has a Brazilian population of roughly 4,000.

"It's pretty amazing, when you think about it," Santos said. "It's great that we have this opportunity to represent our country in this way."

LINEUP SWAP: Mets manager Terry Collins put Gold Glove winner Juan Lagares in centerfield for Game 2 and shifted Yoenis Cespedes to left. Cespedes' misplay in center Tuesday resulted in a leadoff inside-the-park home run by Royals SS Alcides Escobar.

NO CONTROVERSY: A widely circulated photograph of Royals C Salvador Perez with pine tar on his shin guard raised no concerns from either team. Mets manager Terry Collins said virtually all catchers use pine tar for their grip.

AROUND THE MAJORS: The Nationals will hire former Padres manager Bud Black to replace Matt Williams, according to multiple reports. Black managed San Diego for 81/2 seasons before he was fired midway through this season.

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