"That's something you can't really replicate in Spring Training," Hochevar said. "So nothing prepares you for it this early. You just go in and try to make good pitches. Fortunately, I did."
Added Royals manager Ned Yost, "Just a great job by Hoch. He came in throwing strikes."
The Royals had been cruising with a 4-0 lead going into the eighth as Joakim Soria entered. Soria didn't allow an earned run this spring.
But Soria gave up a ground-ball single up the middle, and one out and two walks later, the bases were loaded.
Then Mets first baseman Lucas Duda got jammed and broke his bat, but flared a two-run single to left. A weak grounder by Neil Walker was hit too slowly to turn two, a run scored, and the Mets were suddenly within one. Yet another broken-bat blooper pushed the tying run into scoring position.
And that was it for Soria.
"I don't think I was pitching bad," Soria said. "I broke some bats and some balls fell in.
"But the big thing is the walks. That's not something I really do. But fortunately for us, we still held on to win. That's the main thing. And it's a long season. I'll be all right."
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.