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Volquez grabs 1,000th career strikeout in win
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Royals down Oakland, 5-2 - photo by

OAKLAND— In his last start, Royals right-hander Edinson Volquez didn’t strike out a batter for just the third time in his career.

The march toward career strikeout No. 1,000 had to wait.

But Volquez got back on the K train on Friday night against the A’s in the Royals’ 5-2 win. Volquez picked up that 1,000th strikeout in the sixth inning when he fanned Oakland’s Brett Lawrie -- that had to delight Royals fans.

Volquez leads the Royals with 65 strikeouts. He is now 47th among active pitchers in strikeouts, moving in front of teammate Jeremy Guthrie and Madison Bumgarner.

“He threw the ball extremely well,” manager Ned Yost said. “Changed speeds. Had really good stuff.”

Volquez, who improved to 8-4 and lowered his ERA to 3.18, said he wasn’t even aware of the 1,000 strikeout milestone.

“I wasn’t aware of it at all,” Volquez said. “Salvy [Perez] asked for the ball and threw it in the dugout. I thought ‘What’s that?’ I got to the dugout and everyone says ‘Congratulations.’ And I say ‘For what?’ So now I know -- 1,000 strikeouts. That’s pretty good.

“But I also know it was my 200th start. Feel good about that.”

And his 200th start was a beauty -- seven innings, three hits, one run, one walk.

“I felt pretty good out there tonight,” he said. “Salvy told me early on, ‘You’re not a fly ball guy. You better keep the ball down here.’ And I did.”