Strong-pitching Royals reign over Blue Jays

Sat Oct 17, 2015 1:18am EDT
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(Reuters) - The Kansas City Royals nullified the strongest batting line-up in the majors and let their own sluggers do the talking as they romped to a 5-0 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League Championship Series opener on Friday.

Catcher Salvador Perez belted a solo home run and four pitchers combined to outfox the potent Blue Jays batters in front of a delighted Kauffman Stadium crowd as the home team drew first blood in the best-of-seven series.

Kansas City starter Edinson Volquez pitched six strong innings, relying primarily on a two-seam fastball to strike out five, while giving up two hits and four walks in 111 pitches before handing over to the bullpen to close it out.

Dominican Republic native Volquez earned his first postseason win, after entering the game 0-3.

The Blue Jays were by far the best offensive team in the majors in the regular season, averaging more than five runs per game and were shut out just five times in 162 contests.

However, they were unable to counter some excellent Kansas City pitching on Friday, with nobody managing more than one hit.

"My fastball was good, outside part of the plate," Volquez said in an on-field interview.

"I changed my game plan against them. Last time I faced them I threw a lot of pitches inside and tonight I was able to command my fastball down and away."

Volquez was described as "superb" by Kansas City manager Ned Yost.   Continued...

Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez (13) celebrates with manager Ned Yost (left) after defeating the Toronto Blue Jays in game one of the ALCS at Kauffman Stadium. Royals win 5-0. John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports