Yost commends Santana's efficient start

Yost commends Santana's efficient start

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals starter Ervin Santana had some rough spots on Saturday but he gave himself a passing grade in his fifth Cactus League start, and so did manager Ned Yost.

Two of the four runs he allowed Diamondbacks were unearned, thanks to a throwing error compounded by a ball lost in the sun. He gave up seven hits and one walk in his six innings, throwing 86 pitches (55 strikes).

"[It was] good. I was working everything down in the zone and I take it in a positive way," Santana said and added: "Location was very good. Every time when you have the ball down and locate it, it's going to be good results."

Santana now has a 4.74 ERA in five games with one start remaining. He'll pitch the season's second game on April 3 at Chicago.

"Santana threw the ball really well," Yost said. "He gave up the two scratch runs. Then an E-5 and a sun ball ended up costing him two more runs, but [he threw] 86 pitches in six innings. He threw the ball extremely well."

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