SURPRISE, Ariz. -- After a rough, four-run, two-inning outing in Sunday's 5-4 loss to the Dodgers, Royals right-hander Nathan Karns admitted the outing was more geared toward working on a changeup he has been trying to improve this spring.
"I probably tried to force it a little bit today," Karns said. "But that's a learning process to figure out, when it's going to work best for me."
Karns got through a scoreless first inning before the Dodgers pounced on him for four runs in the second. He gave up five hits, but did strike out four.
"It wasn't one of the outcomes you'd like, but you have to take some positives out of it," Karns said. "For me, to battle out of that second inning was good, just to weather the storm.
"Looking back, I wish I'd done some things differently that inning. After I had that breather with [pitching coach] Dave [Eiland], I just went back and attacked."
Karns retired the last two hitters he faced in the second, stranding runners on second and third.
"I probably got in a little bit of a lull to start the second," Karns said. "Just one of those Spring Training outings that gets away from you a little.
"I think I got out of my gameplan a little. ... It shows if you're not careful, you can lose it pretty quick. I did throw some good changeups toward the end of the second inning."