Medlen fires zeros after Young's short outing

Medlen fires zeros after Young's short outing

ST. LOUIS -- Royals manager Ned Yost did not want to assume that his team would stage a rally in the second half of Thursday night's 4-3 loss to the Cardinals at Busch Stadium.

Trailing, 4-2, in the fourth inning, Yost made the decision to insert Kendrys Morales as a pinch-hitter for starting pitcher Chris Young, who had only thrown 68 pitches, but was struggling with command.

It was a decision with a collateral effect.

After making his first appearance on Sunday since having Tommy John surgery, Kris Medlen was called on to pitch a day earlier than Yost would have preferred to help the Royals navigate the game's middle innings after Young's shortest start of the season.

"He came in and held the fort, and did a good job for us," Yost said.

After allowing four runs in 3 1/3 innings against Pittsburgh in his season debut, Medlen held the Cardinals scoreless in the fourth and fifth innings despite yielding a hit and two walks as he continues to fill a bullpen role in his comeback.

"Physically, I felt great," Medlen said. "I think I was battling some mechanical stuff. A couple of those walks, you just kind of lose feel for a couple of pitches. For the most part I felt great. I've already told a couple of guys, I'm never, ever going to complain about a big league scoreboard having a zero on it."

Young, a former National League pitcher with the Padres (2006-10) and Mets (2011-12), had no complaints, either, despite being pulled after just three frames.

"I understood the situation," he said. "My slider didn't have the depth that it usually has. It was flat tonight, for whatever reason, and I felt like it put me in some bad counts. Physically, I felt really good. I felt strong, but that's baseball."

David Cobb is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.