KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Edinson Volquez combined with three relievers on a three-hitter, Salvador Perez hit a soaring solo home run and the Royals rolled to a 5-0 victory over the Blue Jays in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series on Friday.
Volquez ramped up his fastball to 97 mph to slice through a potent offense, never allowing a runner past second over six innings. His only trouble occurred when he walked the first two batters in the sixth, but he wiggled out of it without any damage.
He did not allow a hit until his 56th pitch, when Chris Colabello chopped a single up the middle with two outs in the fourth. It snapped a postseason hitless streak of 102/3 innings for the Royals, one out shy of matching the record set by the 1939 Yankees.
"Tonight was the Volquez show. He was tremendous," Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He shut down a good-hitting team. His ball was ducking and darting everywhere."
Toronto's three hits — all singles — were its fewest ever in a postseason game.
"There was a lot of energy," said Volquez, who had been 0-3 with an 8.76 ERA in three postseason starts. "I was just making my pitches."
The biggest of the Jays' big bats made the quietest outs. Jose Bautista went down looking in the fourth inning, while Edwin Encarnacion struck out looking in the sixth. Josh Donaldson had a walk but little else, and Troy Tulowitzki — one of Toronto's big deadline acquisitions — went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
Alcides Escobar and Lorenzo Cain drove in runs off starter Marco Estrada, while Eric Hosmer and Kendrys Morales tacked on two more off LaTroy Hawkins to put the game away.
Encarnacion left in the eighth to get X-rays on the middle finger of his left hand. The initial report was a strain of the ligament. He was listed as day to day.
Perez hit his third homer of the postseason on the first pitch he saw in the fourth.