Volquez hangs tough to pick up 10th victory

Volquez hangs tough to pick up 10th victory

CLEVELAND -- Royals right-hander Edinson Volquez wasn't at his best, physically or emotionally.

Volquez walked five batters, gave up six hits and barked at home-plate umpire Lance Barksdale much of the time. But Volquez came through with six-plus innings and a quality start in the Royals' 9-4 win over the Indians on Monday night.

The victory was Volquez's 10th of the season, and that is a big deal to him.

"I won 13 last year and I want to go over 13 this year," he said. "And everybody here keeps talking about how James Shields got 13 wins last year, so I want to go past him and get 15 or 16."

Volquez certainly seems headed that way, though his command was off on Monday.

"I think my secondary pitches were better than my fastball command," he said. "I wasn't able to command the fastball like I did the last time out."

And at one point, Volquez stomped around the mound long enough to trigger a visit from Barksdale. That's when Volquez gave him a piece of his mind.

"I was just trying to wake him up," Volquez said, smiling. "I thought I threw a couple of good pitches and he called a ball ... I just waited for him to come to the mound and I said, 'Let's go. Those were really close.'

"I came back and watched the video and there was a 3-2 changeup to [Michael] Brantley that was a strike. But the time before, he gave me a 3-0 pitch for a strike and it was a ball. I don't know.

"But sometimes you just have to get [the umpire] going to try to get some strike calls."

The Royals certainly got going for Volquez, bouncing to 3-0, 4-0 and 7-1 leads.

"Oh, yeah. It feels good. Why not?" Volquez said, grinning. "It's a good feeling with a lead like that."

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.