Hochevar's outing gives 'pen needed break

Hochevar's outing gives 'pen needed break

KANSAS CITY -- Luke Hochevar's seven-inning outing in the Royals' 2-1 loss to the Twins on Friday made it two games in a row in which Kansas City starters made it to the seventh.

Manager Ned Yost said this is good news for his bullpen, which was utilized early and often earlier in the week during the Mariners series. Three Royals starters went a total of 8 1/3 innings in the first three games against Seattle.

Will Smith and Hochevar -- who pitched 6 1/3 innings and seven innings, respectively, in the previous two games before Saturday -- have helped out the bullpen a lot, according to Yost.

"It's given guys a chance to take a bit of a breather," Yost said. "We've been going on a two day on, one day off routine. It's hard to maintain that when you're a bullpen guy. You'd like to have a little more balance and a little more rest down there. Anytime you find six outs compared to 12 outs, it helps.

"It was huge to get two longer outings out of those two guys the last couple nights because our 'pen, it starts to get overloaded, the workload gets overloaded and then wear down. And they're not going to be near as effective as you need them to be."