Before the start of the bottom of the fifth inning on Sunday afternoon, Royals starter Edinson Volquez asked the grounds crew at Progressive Field to repair a hole near the base of the pitching mound.
The mound, Volquez said, had given him trouble for much of Sunday’s 5-4 loss to the Cleveland Indians. He did not blame it for his inconsistent command.
“It wasn’t the problem,” Volquez said. “The problem was me. I was a little off, coming to the plate. It wasn’t good.”
Volquez allowed five earned runs in 4 1/3 innings. He walked four while throwing 105 pitches. His ERA jumped to 3.89 after sitting at 1.09 after four starts.
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The performance frustrated Volquez, who was trying to deliver the Royals’ first series victory in four tries.
“Everything was all over the place,” Volquez said. “I think I fell in love with my secondary pitches. I didn’t use my fastball a lot. It was my choice, too. I was trying to do a little bit too much to win the series and I got myself in trouble.”
Volquez had allowed just two runs before getting into a jam in the fifth inning. With runners at the corners and one out, Royals manager Ned Yost let Volquez face Lonnie Chisenhall. Reliever Danny Duffy was warm in the bullpen, but Yost preferred to let Volquez go against Chisenhall rather than allowing Duffy to take on a possible pinch-hitter. Chisenhall beat Volquez with a single to right-center.
“I had a really hard time finding a rhythm,” Volquez said. “I don’t know, for some reason, I didn’t feel really comfortable on the mound.”
Volquez’s next start will come back in Kansas City. He will open a three-game series against the Atlanta Braves on Friday.
“It’s part of the game,” Volquez said, flashing a smile during a post-game interview. “I’ll be back.”