Perez, Volquez pace Royals over Braves

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[May 14, 2016]  KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Salvador Perez got the clutch hit for the insurance runs, while Edinson Volquez pitched deep into the game, which is what the Kansas City Royals needed.

Royals starting pitcher Edinson Volquez (36) fields a ground ball and throws to first base in the fourth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Perez drove in two runs with an eighth inning single and Volquez allowed one run over seven innings as the Kansas City Royals defeated the Atlanta Braves 5-1 Friday night.

Perez's two-run single with two strikes in the eighth highlighted a three-run eighth.

"I was just trying to put the ball in play," Perez said. "I got in a situation in the sixth inning and struck out (with runners on the corners and one out). I was trying to be patient."

Kendrys Morales drove in the first run of the eighth with a single.

All the runs were charged to Braves rookie reliever Hunter Cervenka, who had not allowed a run in his first 15 big league appearances, a franchise record to begin a career, covering 10 1/3 innings.

"It sucks to come in in a close game and not get the job done," Cervenka said. "For the streak, to me it wasn't a big thing. I went out there and competed every night. (I tried to) take the ball and get the job done and it didn't happen tonight."

Volquez gave up a run in the seventh on two singles, a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly. Jeff Francoeur, who led off the inning with a single, scored on Erick Aybar's fly out to center fielder Lorenzo Cain. The Braves rank last in the majors with 102 runs.

Volquez (4-3) yielded six hits, struck out two and walked none, throwing 55 strikes in 83 pitches. With the Royals using spot starters Dillon Gee and Danny Duffy the next two games, it was crucial Volquez not make an early exit.

"He was making good pitches early in the count," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Our pitching was outstanding."

Right-hander Julio Teheran (0-4), who is winless in eight starts, took the loss, giving up two runs, although one was unearned, on four hits, while striking out five and walking one.

"I'm just trying to get going, going forward," Teheran said. "I'm just trying to concentrate on my job. I'm just trying to push my team and do my best every time I pitch."

The Royals took advantage of a Francoeur error to score an unearned run. Alcides Escobar led off the first with a single to right that bounced past Francoeur. Escobar wound up on third base and scored on Lorenzo Cain's ground out to Aybar.

The Royals added a run in the second when Cheslor Cuthbert doubled down the left-field line Teheran, Paulo Orlando was hit by a pitch and Escobar wormed a two-out run-producing single to right.

Volquez threw only seven pitches in the first inning and 60 in the first five innings, retiring 10 of the first 11 batters he faced. Kelly Johnson's double in the second was the only Braves hit.

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The Braves got two breaks in the fourth inning, but failed to take advantage. With one out, Alex Gordon, a four-time left-field Gold Glove winner, dropped Freddie Freeman's fly, snapping his 188-game streak without an error. Next catcher Tyler Flowers hit one off his instep for an infield single. Royals manager Ned Yost came out to discuss with plate umpire Greg Gibson that it should have been a foul ball off Flower's foot, but it was not a reviewable play.

With runners on the corners, Volquez struck out Johnson looking and retired Francoeur on a fly ball to second baseman Omar Infante to end the inning and the Atlanta threat.

"He had a little more super-sink today than I thought (from the past)," said Tyler Flowers, who had two of the Braves hits off Volquez. "He's not exactly a spot-up guy, but an effective misser. He doesn't miss over the heart of the plate too often. That's what very good pitchers do. When they miss they miss in good spots. He ate me up with nasty sinkers in. I was able to slap one up the middle that was down and away. But he seems to not give you any mistakes to really take advantage of."

NOTES: This is only the Braves' second trip to Kansas City. They split a two-game series in 2013 at Kauffman Stadium with the Braves winning pitcher RHP Kris Medlen, who is on the Royals disabled list after beginning the season in their rotation. ... The Royals improved to 18-24 record on Friday the 13th. ... The Braves .226 batting average ranks 29th in the majors. ... Yost said he plans on using Paulo Orlando, who started Friday, more in right field with Jarrod Dyson slumping, 4-for-24, .167 on the just completed seven-game trip. Orlando, however, struck out three times Friday. ... RHP Gee will make his first Royals start Saturday, replacing RHP Chris Young, who went on the disabled list with a forearm strain. RHP Mike Foltynewicz will make his third start for the Braves after being recalled May 2 from Triple-A Gwinnett. He has allowed four home runs in 10 2/3 innings.

[ 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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