Chen gave up three home runs, all with the bases empty, and the Royals lost to the San Francisco Giants, 3-1, at Scottsdale Stadium. Even so, both Chen and manager Ned Yost were pleased with the way his six innings went.
"A lot better than I did last time against the Minor Leaguers," Chen said, referring to an intrasquad game. "I felt like I was throwing low strikes, mixing all my pitches and Brayan [Pena] did a real good job calling the game."
The home runs were belted by the 3-4-5 hitters in the Giants' lineup -- Aubrey Huff, Buster Posey and Cody Ross.
"That's going to happen whenever you're aggressive in the count," Chen said. "I went out there and went after them. I thought two of the home runs were on good pitches and that's going to happen. I'm very happy with the way I pitched and the way I'm feeling."
Yost let Chen become the first Royals' pitcher to go six innings this spring and agreed that two of the three homers came on pitches that were low and not all that bad.
"That's all they mustered off him in six innings," Yost said. "He was real efficient with his pitches, kept the ball down and did a real nice job of commanding his stuff."