Uneventful spring what Young wanted

Uneventful spring what Young wanted

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Spring Training has been ho-hum for Padres right-hander Chris Young, which is the way he likes it.

"It's been an uneventful camp for me, besides from the baby," Young said after throwing seven strong innings on Saturday against the Royals. "I feel great."

Young's wife, Liz, gave birth to daughter Catherine Elizabeth on March 4 in the Phoenix area.

"There have been a couple of long nights here and there, but my wife -- she is taking the burden on her own shoulders and letting me sleep," Young said. "She's understanding of the schedule."

Young's outing against the Royals was the longest by a Padres pitcher in Spring Training, but in another way it was short. Manager Buddy Black called Young's outing "efficient" in the Padres' 3-2, 10-inning victory.

Young was still way under his allotted 90-pitch limit after seven innings and threw 15 more pitches in the bullpen after exiting.

"I was able to get some outs early in the count," Young said. "Sometimes that is not going to happen, but it allowed me to go an extra inning and keep my pitch count down.

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"The main thing, more than the pitch count, is getting up and down. It was seven times up and down. There are not going to be too many games when I'm up and down more than that, cooling off and getting my arm loose. The pitch count didn't get as high as we were shooting for, but I finished in the bullpen. Overall, it was a productive day."

Young, who lowered his earned run average to 3.38, gave up five hits and two runs, both on solo home runs, while walking one and striking out four.

"I felt pretty sharp," Young said. "My command and my fastball location were pretty good. My slider was better than it was in the Minor League game last time, so I felt like I made the improvement there. My changeup was good. I didn't throw any curveballs, but most importantly I felt good and am ready to go."

Mark Grudzielanek led off the fourth and Billy Butler led off the fifth with home runs.

"They were just first-pitch fastballs," Young said. "I was trying to get ahead in the count, trying to throw a fastball for a strike to two pretty good hitters and they hit good pitches. That's what happens."

Black said he liked that Young was sharp with three pitches -- fastball, slider and changeup. Young is penciled in to start the second game of the season, April 1, against the Astros.

"I have one more [Spring Training] outing, sort of a tune-up outing, I think the last day of camp against Seattle," Young said. "Overall, I feel like it's been a productive Spring Training. I've got my work in each time. I've reached the number of innings we've set forth each time out.

"I'm ready to turn on the lights. There's still a little room for improvement here and there, some minor things that I'm going to continue to fine-tune. And that goes on during the season. Physically, I feel good.

Young was 9-8 with a 3.12 ERA in 30 starts last year. He was winless in his final 11 starts in which the Padres supported him with just 19 runs.

Alan Eskew is a contributor to MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.