As Mat Latos was leaving the mound Tuesday following his first exhibition start of the spring, he said something to Chris Guccione that "drew a chuckle" from the home-plate umpire.

Latos wouldn't divulge the nature of his comments, although one might guess that it had something to do with the right-hander's control.

Or lack of it.

Latos threw 34 pitches. Only 15 of those went for strikes - and up to a half dozen of those could have gone the other way.

In the first inning, Latos walked four Kansas City Royals and threw only 11 strikes in 30 pitches. The only thing that saved him from a run was catcher Nick Hundley throwing out a would-be base stealer.

Latos returned to open the second, threw four straight strikes, got an out and retired for the day.

"I'm trying to think of the best possible word I want printed to describe that," said Latos after his outing. "I felt fine, as bad as I looked.

"I was missing a lot. I threw everywhere but in the strike zone. I've thrown a baseball all my life, that should never happen. I was spot on in the bullpen. All my pitches were in the strike zone. I don't know what happened."

Padres manager Bud Black said Latos "couldn't quite get his fastball command." Black added there were two reasons for Latos going out to face one batter in the second.