Young sees room to improve on sterling start

Royals' No. 4 starter holds Dodgers hitless over 4 1/3 innings

Young sees room to improve on sterling start

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- When Royals right-hander Chris Young reached and exceeded his pitch count of 75 in Tuesday's 3-1 win over the Dodgers, manager Ned Yost dutifully came out to the mound to pull him.

Yost told Young that pitching coach Dave Eiland apparently was getting "nervous" that Young already had reached 78 pitches.

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Young turned to Yost and deadpanned, "Does Dave know I'm pitching a no-hitter?"

The humor was not lost on Yost. And neither was Young's sterling outing -- 4 1/3 innings, zero hits, one run, three walks and five strikeouts.

"He was awesome," Yost said.

Young on his hitless start

Still, Young, projected as the Royals' No. 4 starter, saw room for improvement.

"I wasn't as sharp as I'd like to be," Young said. "I threw some good pitches but my fastball command wasn't quite as sharp as I'd like it to be.

"Overall the results were good. It's something to build on."

Young struck out five of the first six hitters he faced, getting the third strike each time on sliders.

"Slider was good," he said. "I threw some good fastballs when I needed to, but it just wasn't consistent. My slider was really good. It allowed me to keep them off balance.

"Again, I wasn't thrilled with the three walks, so I'll keep working.

"It's part of the progression. You're trying to compete but you're also reaching new thresholds. You can't expect to be perfect every time. It's a build-up. This was my fourth time out and next time we'll build up and I should be pretty close for the regular season."

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.