SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) - Mat Latos lost the strike zone, then was at a loss for words.
A 14-game winner last year with San Diego, Latos walked four in the first inning and Padres pitchers combined for 10 walks in a 4-3 loss Tuesday to the Kansas City Royals.
Latos threw only 15 of 34 pitches for strikes and got only four outs in his spring training debut. He walked four of his first five batters but didn't allow a run because Mike Aviles was caught stealing for the second out of the inning.
Latos retired Mitch Maier on a popup to strand the bases loaded.
``I'm trying to think the best possible word right now,' Latos said after his outing. ``There are no words that I can say how I feel about this outing, seriously. I felt fine as bad as I looked out there. I was missing by a lot. I threw it everywhere, but in the strike zone.'
Latos did not attribute the wild outing to rustiness.
``It doesn't matter,' he said. ``I've thrown a baseball all my life. That should never happen, something like that.'
Latos said he was sharp warming up, throwing all of his pitches for strikes.
``I don't know what happened,' Latos said. ``Maybe I blew it all in the bullpen.'
Clint Robinson, who won the 2010 Texas League triple crown with a .335 average, 29 homers and 98 RBIs, tripled and doubled in his first two at_bats. He drove in two runs and scored another on Maier's double.
Mike Moustakas' two-out single in the eighth scored Lorenzo Cain, who had doubled with the winning run. Cain went 2-for-2 and made a lead-saving catch to end the ninth with two on. Cain made a spectacular diving grab of Jesus Guzman's liner doubled Luis Durango off second.
Luke Hochevar, the first player selected in the 2006 amateur draft, gave up singles to Cameron Maybin, Jarrett Hoffpauir and Chase Headley at the start of the game but allowed only one run. He induced Brad Hawpe to ground into a double play.
``In the first inning, my ball was up in the zone and that's what happens,' Hochevar said. ``You get the ball up in the zone and you give up hits. I made the adjustment, got the ball down and started getting ground balls. The next inning I felt a lot better with my command. It's just something you've got to ease into a little bit.
``You always want to be on top of your game, but you understand where you're at in spring, first start. I'm just glad I made the adjustment and got it ironed out.'
Manager Ned Yost was happy with the Royals' play.
``Our at_bats were very good,' Yost said. ``We took 10 walks along with 10 hits. I was very pleased with our plate discipline. I thought our pitching was good. I thought (Kanekoa) Texeira was very sharp. I thought Hoch and (Aaron) Crow threw the ball very well. Command was a little bit of an issue for them, but their stuff was very good.'
NOTES: Padres PR James Darnell, a non-roster invitee, left in the ninth after being struck by C Manny Pina's throw on a pickoff attempt. ... Moustakas has four RBIs in the past two games. ... The Royals, who were last in the AL in fielding last year, have not committed an error in the first three games.
The Associated Press News Service
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