Young simply 'spot' on in KC rotation debut

Young simply 'spot' on in KC rotation debut

KANSAS CITY -- This was not exactly the type of spot start the Royals and manager Ned Yost were hoping for from Chris Young. It was better than they could have imagined.

Young, who was signed as a long reliever and spot starter during Spring Training, filled in for the suspended Edinson Volquez and was nothing short of magnificent, considering the circumstances.

Young threw five no-hit innings before tiring and turning matters over to the Royals' vaunted bullpen, which secured a 4-1 victory over the Tigers on Friday night.

Yost on Young's start, bullpen

"For me, that's the story of the night -- five great innings from Chris Young, picking us up, and not giving up any hits," Yost said. "He lost it a little bit in the fourth, but he picked it right back up."

Yost has marveled all spring about Young's gift for getting hitters out without a blazing fastball.

"It's deception," Yost said. "He's a big tall guy, he hides the ball well, his slider is really tough to see. The fastball is tough to get on. Even though it's only 89 [mph], it's tough to pick up. We could never hit him."

Young fans Cespedes

Young was just relieved he was able to help his team. He struck out nine batters, all swinging.

"I was just trying to get ahead with fastballs or breaking balls, and then expand the zone up or with sliders short," Young said. "It's really hard to live in the zone because they are such a good-hitting team that they will crush you."

Young has dominated the Tigers in the past. In five previous starts against them, he had a 1.67 ERA.

"I don't [dominate them]," Young said. "I just try to make good pitches. That lineup is so good, top to bottom. When I kind of lost it in the fourth [three walks], they just didn't chase. I thought I made some good pitches. I was lucky to get out of it."

Young had no expectations of holding the Tigers hitless.

"You don't go into a game expecting that so I just wanted to win," he said. "I really just went after one hitter at a time.

"I could feel a little fatigue in the fifth. I told Ned that I'm in this for the long haul, but he felt comfortable going with the bullpen there."

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.