Volquez back to Dominican Republic for funeral

Kansas City Royals right-hander Edinson Volquez, whose father died before Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday, has returned home to be with his family in the Dominican Republic for the funeral, the team confirmed.

Volquez will rejoin the Royals in New York, where the series against the New York Mets shifts Friday for Game 3.

Daniel Volquez, 63, died of complications from heart disease. The Royals confirmed the death after Tuesday’s game — a 5-4, 14-inning win for Kansas City in which Volquez started. The right-hander pitched six innings, allowing three runs. He did not speak to the media afterward.

A source told’s Enrique Rojas that the pitcher heard the news while on his way to Kauffman Stadium for Game 1. Royals manager Ned Yost, however, provided a contrasting version of events to reporters after the game, saying the Royals adhered to the wishes of Volquez’s family and declined to tell him what had transpired in the Dominican Republic before he took the mound.

Volquez is scheduled to pitch a potential Game 5 on Sunday in New York.

“I can definitely understand what he’s going through right now,” said Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas, whose mother, Connie, died of cancer in August. “When someone loses a family member, that takes priority over everything that happens. Baseball is baseball, but family, things that happen like that — that’s something that is more important than baseball.”

Royals pitcher Chris Young‘s father, Charles, also died of cancer last month.

“For all the stuff that’s happened this year to all of our parents, and a couple other people that have had some bad luck with their families, it has to bring us closer together,” Moustakas said. “This is our family.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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