KANSAS CITY -- Royals starter Edinson Volquez has been so effective this year, it likely seemed shocking to Royals fans to watch him walk six batters through three innings and nearly cough up a 4-0 lead.
As it turned out, there was a very good reason for Volquez's loss of command -- a blister that had been developing his last two starts finally burst in the second inning.
"I have been dealing with that the last couple of starts and today was the worst," he said. "When it [burst] in the second inning, I didn't say anything. But the last inning, I couldn't grip the ball. It was tough to throw."
Volquez, who gave up three runs in three innings of the Royals' 7-4 win, said the blister affected his whole repertoire.
"Yeah, it was all of them," he said. "It was OK with my changeup. But I got it in my mind that it was hurting each time I threw. It burned.
"My mechanics were good. I just couldn't throw the ball."
Volquez said he doesn't expect to miss a start. Royals manager Ned Yost said the same.
"I asked the trainers if he would have to miss a start," Yost said, "and right away they said, 'No, we'll harden it up before his next start.' … I trust our trainers."
Volquez added, "Every year, I get this a couple of times."
Fortunately for Volquez and the Royals, the bullpen picked up the slack and threw six innings of one-run ball, preserving a victory over the Indians.
"They were unbelievable," Volquez said of the bullpen. "They came back and picked me up."
Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.