The Los Angeles Angels are expecting big things from Ervin Santana again this season.
The right-hander recorded four outs in his first spring start Thursday, allowing two runs and two hits in the Angels' 8-2 loss to the Kansas City Royals.
"Ervin had a good downward angle on his pitches," manager Mike Scioscia said. "It was a good workout for him (but) his pitch count was a little bit high."
Santana went 17-10 with a 3.92 ERA last season, setting career highs for wins, complete games (four) and innings (222 2/3). He figures to be Los Angeles' No. 3 starter this year behind Jered Weaver and Dan Haren.
Santana walked one and struck out one against the Royals, finishing with 38 pitches. Mitch Maier went 4-for-4 with two RBI for Kansas City, which finished with 11 hits. Kila Ka'aihue had two hits and drove in a run.
"Mitch Maier was the star of the game," Royals manager Ned Yost said.
Kyle Davies worked two innings in his second spring start for Kansas City. The righthander allowed two runs and two hits.
"The off-speed stuff has been pretty good so far," said Davies, who was 8-12 with a 5.34 ERA in 32 starts for the Royals in 2010. "I commanded my delivery pretty good. I commanded the baseball very good. There were a couple of pitches that got away."
Royals closer Joakim Soria made his first spring appearance, striking out two in a scoreless inning.