Santana, Joseph impressive on mound in loss

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Although the Royals' winning streak ended, manager Ned Yost found glimpses of pitching light in Thursday's 12-2 loss to the Mariners.

"I thought the two positives for the day were Ervin Santana and Donnie Joseph. I thought both of those guys were extremely sharp. I'm not sure that Donnie hasn't faced a lefty yet that he hasn't struck out," Yost said.

Santana, in his second start, went three innings and gave up one run on three hits. He struck out four with no walks, throwing 42 pitches (30 strikes).

"Ervin's stuff was great. His fastball was between 92 and 94 [mph], he commanded his pitches very well, he had a very nice slider today," Yost said. "He kept his pitch count down and we actually thought about sending him out for another inning, but once he got past the 40-pitch mark, we decided to keep it at three. I thought he threw the ball extremely well."

Joseph, a left-hander, has not permitted a run in four innings and has piled up nine strikeouts with no walks. He's given up just one hit, putting himself in good position in his bid to win a bullpen job.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.