PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) - Ian Kennedy thinks he got pretty lucky.
Kennedy was hit by a line drive on the knee after giving up consecutive homers in the Arizona Diamondbacks' 10-6 loss to the San Diego Padres on Saturday.
Jedd Gyorko's liner hit Kennedy and ricocheted to first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, who fielded it for an easy put out. Kennedy was clearly hobbled, and he was removed from the game by manager Kirk Gibson with a bruise. But the Diamondbacks' ace feels he avoided something much worse.
``The ball was hit pretty hard, and I'm lucky it didn't strike an inch further down on my shin or an inch further in, which would've been right on my kneecap,' Kennedy said. ``Honestly, it could've been a lot worse. I'm just glad I didn't show those guys how bad it stung.'
Kennedy didn't think it would affect his pitching schedule. And he wants to get right back out there after giving up four runs in 3 2-3 innings, his first earned runs allowed this spring.
``I wasn't happy with my command,' Kennedy said. ``My curveball was off. My fastball location wasn't great especially on the home runs. I felt like I was getting ahead, but I couldn't finish hitters off. But I'm healthy, making process and heading towards the regular-season form.'
Arizona needs Kennedy in top form to compete in a deep NL West. Kennedy was 15-12 with a 4.02 ERA last season as the pitching staff's unquestioned leader, a year after he was a Cy Young Award candidate.
Padres starter Tyson Ross' form has clearly improved. After bouts of wildness hindered his early starts, Ross is on a roll. He used 74 pitches to record 5 1-3 shutout innings, extending his scoreless streak to 11 1-3 innings over the span of three starts. That's a positive for a pitcher trying to earn a major league job.
``When you start getting to the 60-90 pitch range of spring game, you get a clearer picture of a pitcher, and it's clear Tyson is throwing the ball well,' Padres manager Bud Black said. ``He's doing his part to forge his way onto our roster, whether it's in the bullpen or the rotation.'
Padres first baseman Yonder Alonso had his first multihit game of the spring, going 2 for 3 with a home run, a double and two RBIs.
Diamondbacks center fielder Gerardo Parra had a home run, a double a walk and two RBIs in three plate appearances. He's 6 for 8 with four extra-base hits and six RBIs in his last three games.
NOTES: LF Jason Kubel will play Sunday, his first game action in almost a week. Kubel was held out to rest his knee. . Carlos Quentin (right knee) will play in a minor league game, his first action in more than a week. . RF Chris Denorfia will play Sunday, his first game since he played for Italy in the World Baseball Classic. ... RHP Luke Gregerson returned to Arizona on Saturday after representing Team USA in the WBC and will join the Padres on Sunday. . RHP Nick Vincent returned to San Diego to get his hand and forearm examined by a specialist. . The Padres reassigned RHP Kevin Quackenbush, LHP Robbie Erlin, RHP Jason Ray and RHP Matt Stites were re-assigned to minor league camp. . The teams will play again Sunday in in Tucson, Ariz. in a split-squad game for both.
The Associated Press News Service
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