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Mendoza finding groove out of Royals' bullpen

KANSAS CITY -- It's been a rough season for Luis Mendoza. The right-hander went 2-4 in the rotation with seven quality starts, but he also had three outings of four innings or fewer -- including 1 2/3 in his last start. After five appearances out of the bullpen, he's finding his groove again.

Since switching to the bullpen, Mendoza has gone 0-1 in five appearances, and he brought a 4 1/3-innings scoreless streak going into Monday's game. He appeared in two games this homestand and pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings, with two hits, one walk and one strikeout.

"His last two outings have been really, really good," manager Ned Yost said. "He's got his fastball, his good two-seamer back to 93 mph and he's throwing strikes with it. I'm very pleased with what I've seen the last couple times out."

Yost said Mendoza seemed tired in his last couple starts, and Mendoza said his time playing for Obregon in the Mexican Winter League may have contributed to his declining success as a starter.

"Every day I feel better and better. And of course, when I pitch, I feel better," Mendoza said. "It's probably in my mind. My arm might feel good, but maybe my body really feels tired. That's probably why I struggled throwing strikes. I don't feel tired, but maybe my body is."

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for Kathleen Gier is an associate reporter for
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