Edinson Volquez saved his best Cactus League start for last. After weathering rough outings all spring, Volquez rebounded to strike out eight Chicago Cubs in five innings in a 7-0 Royals loss.
Chicago scored a pair of runs on six hits off Volquez, who still reduced his ERA to 7.79. Volquez departed after facing three batters in the sixth inning. The bases were loaded, but the fault was not all his.
Kendrys Morales failed to field a groundball single by the Cubs’ leadoff hitter, Tommy La Stella. After Addison Russell followed up with a single, Volquez walked Miguel Montero. Into the game came Joe Paterson, who limited Chicago’s scoring to one run on a sacrifice fly.
In the first inning, Montero mashed a solo home run off Volquez’s curveball. It looked like yet another rickety performance in the making. But Volquez responded. He did not allow another batter to reach third base until the sixth. He only walked one batter.
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The pitching from the bullpen was less successful. In the eighth, Wade Davis gave up a solo home run to Cubs outfielder Junior Lake. Greg Holland collected two outs in the ninth and yielded four runs, the last two on a homer by outfielder Matt Szczur.