Hochevar struggles but Royals rally past Brewers 3-2
9:21 PM, Feb 27, 2013
SURPRISE, Ariz. - Milwaukee Brewers left-hander Chris Narveson passed his first game test on his recovery from shoulder surgery.
Out for nearly a year, Narveson threw 30 pitches Wednesday in the Brewers' 3-2 loss to the Kansas City Royals.
Narveson allowed two hits and a run, striking out one and walking one. He last pitched on April 15 before needing season-ending surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff.
"I think there are a lot of times you start thinking how is it going to feel that first time out," Narveson said. "Once that adrenaline and everything starts going, it gets you back into that feel of being on the mound again.
"It was one of those things where there was so much anticipation and so much a feeling of relief to be able to go out there and be on the mound again," he said.
Narveson was pulled after 1 1-3 innings.
"I didn't feel like I overdid it," he said. "Sometimes I think when you come back sometimes you worry about trying to do too much. I stayed within myself and just tried to pound the zone and stay down. For the first time out, I'm pleased."
A healthy Narveson, who won 23 games in 2010-11 before being limited to two starts last season, would be a boost to the Brewers' rotation.
"I'll be ready," he said. "I don't have any doubt. It's just a matter of refining and getting your skills ready to go by then."
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke thought it was an encouraging start.
"I liked it," he said. "I think he threw some really good pitches. He missed with a few, but I liked it. I thought the ball came out well. For being out that long, I liked it."
Max Ramirez singled home Lorenzo Cain in the seventh inning for the go-ahead run as the Royals improved to 5-0-1 this spring.
Cain, who walked and stole second, made his first appearance after missing the first five games with a hand injury.
Royals starter Luke Hochevar walked three and gave up two runs and a walk in 1 2-3 innings. Bruce Chen, competing with Hochevar for the fifth spot in the rotation, pitched two spotless innings.
Hochevar threw only 20 strikes in 38 pitches.
"It was just the two-seamer was sinking just below the zone," Hochevar said. "It's a small adjustment and we can make that with no problem. It was the action I wanted. That was the pitch I fell behind with a little bit and that I wasn't commanding that much. That's a feel pitch and that will come."
Said manager Ned Yost: "Luke's command was off, behind on a lot of hitters, but his stuff was pretty impressive."
Royals shortstop Elliot Johnson was removed after the sixth inning with a bruised left knee when Carlos Gomez slid into his leg while he started a double play.
"It's more a precautionary thing," Yost said. "He was fighting to stay in the game, but this early let's get some ice on it."
NOTES: Royals LF Alex Gordon returned after missing the previous two games with lower back stiffness. ... RHP James Shields, who was acquired in a seven-player trade in December from Tampa Bay, makes his Royals debut Thursday against San Diego. ... The Brewers, who have lost five straight after winning their opener, will start RHP Wily Peralta on Thursday against the White Sox.