SURPRISE, Ariz. -- For Luke Hochevar, the change from being a starting pitcher to a reliever went perfectly.
Hochevar, shifted to the Royals' bullpen on Wednesday, made his first appearance in his new role in the fifth and sixth innings of Friday's 7-5 split-squad victory over the Padres. He retired all six batters he faced.
The tall right-hander approached the relief assignment more aggressively than he normally did as a starter.
"You get that shot of adrenaline and it's kind of a different approach. You're not really trying to establish anything or get your pitch count down deep in the game and so it's more of like an attack -- swing-and-miss kind of approach, I guess," Hochevar said. "I really don't know how to explain it."
Manager Ned Yost certainly liked what he saw.
"It was very impressive. He came in with a good stuff, good breaking ball, on the attack. Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom -- he's done," Yost said. "So very, very good outing. I think he enjoyed it for the first time in relief and it's a different feeling. I think he experienced that today and he was pretty excited when his job was done."
Hochevar certainly seemed so.
"What I took from it today was you get that shot of adrenaline which is nice and, yeah, it's fun," he said.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less