Friday, June 24, 2016

Volquez, Keuchel square off in ALDS rematch

In a rematch of last year's American League Division Series, the Royals and Astros will begin a three-game set Friday at Kauffman Stadium.
Edinson Volquez (7-6, 4.12 ERA) will hope for a better outing than he had in Game 3 of the ALDS, the last time he faced Houston. In that start, he allowed three runs on five hits and four walks over 5 2/3 innings while striking out eight in a loss. The right-hander will look to add to his current two-game winning streak.
Dallas Keuchel (3-9, 5.32 ERA) will face the Royals for the first time since coming out of the bullpen in Game 5 of the ALDS when he surrendered three runs on two hits in the eighth inning of an Astros loss. Keuchel beat Volquez in Game 3 of that series by tossing seven innings of one-run ball. Coming off a quality start in which he allowed two runs over seven innings against the Reds on Saturday, the left-hander will try to pick up his first win since May 28.
"There's a special atmosphere in the playoffs you can't duplicate in the regular season, so it's going to be business as usual," Keuchel said. "We know they're a good team at home and we look forward to playing them in a weekend series. I know it's going to be packed because I was trying to get a suite for my family and friends there, but they're all sold out. That's what happens when you win the world championship."
Things to know about this game
• Kendrys Morales, who hit a three-run home run off Keuchel with two away in the eighth inning of Game 5, has recorded a hit in each of the last eight games he's started. The Royals' designated hitter has a career batting average of .400 (8-for-20) against Keuchel, which includes the postseason.
• Carlos Gomez is hitting .294 (10-for-34) against Volquez in his career, including the postseason, with three of those nine hits being solo home runs.
• Including the postseason, Keuchel is 3-1 with a 3.82 ERA in six career games (five starts) against K.C.

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