Wednesday, April 15, 2015

J-Up and away: Padres even series with win over D-backs

 Odrisamer Despaigne, filling in for an injured Ian Kennedy, allowed one run over seven innings Tuesday as the Padres defeated the D-backs, 5-1, at Petco Park.
Despaigne has stepped into Kennedy's spot in the rotation since Kennedy suffered a strain of his left hamstring last Thursday. In 11 2/3 innings this season -- all innings he took over from the injured Kennedy -- Despaigne has allowed just one run.
"The good games he's thrown sort of mirrored that one," said Padres manager Bud Black. "That was a mix of pitches from a variety of arm angles. [He was] efficient around the plate, deceptive, doesn't melt. You feel comfortable with him because you know you're going to get a pretty workman-like outing. It was a very well-pitched game." More >
Justin Upton hit a home run for the Padres (5-4), his second of the season and his first at Petco Park in a home jersey.
The D-backs (4-4) got an RBI double by Mark Trumbo but little else in the way of offense to back starter Jeremy Hellickson (0-2).
Up and away with J-Up: The addition of Upton has been, in a small sample size, a big hit for the Padres in the middle of the order. His home run in the fifth inning -- traveling 389 feet -- extended his hitting streak to 11 games, going back to last season.
Rough beginning: Hellickson never got a chance to settle in before the Padres jumped on him. Hellickson gave up a leadoff double to Wil Myers and wound up allowing three runs in the first, putting the D-backs in an early hole.More >
Six is the magic number: It certainly is for the Padres' two middle-of-the-order bats, Matt Kemp and Upton. Kemp knocked in a run as part of a three-run first inning and Upton had a solo home run in the fifth inning. Each have knocked in six runs this season.
Missed opportunity: The D-backs had a chance to do some damage against Despaigne in the first inning when A.J. Pollock drew a leadoff walk and Chris Owings reached on a fielding error by third baseman Will Middlebrooks.Paul Goldschmidt, though, flew out and David Peralta lined into a double play to end the threat.
"He's not a guy who is going to strike out a ton of guys, but he's the type of guy that you go back and say you got yourself out. That's his game. He's not overpowering. He's about 90-91, with a couple of different breaking balls and a nice changeup he throws to both sides of the plate. He's got all the pitches." -- Trumbo on Despaigne
"For him, he's always changing arm angles. Sometimes, I don't think he knows what he's doing before he's doing it. He does whatever. He's funky, but in a great way." -- Padres catcher Derek Norris on catching Despaigne.
The Padres scored three runs in the first inning Tuesday, giving them seven first-inning runs in their first nine games. What's the big deal? Consider that they scored just 62 runs in the first frame all of last season.
Despaigne has been a hit since making his big league debut last season. The Cuban defector has pitched exceedingly well at Petco Park, posing a 1.64 ERA in his first 65 2/3 innings at his home ballpark. The road? Eh, not so much. He has a 5.31 ERA away from San Diego in 42 2/3 career innings.
D-backs: Chase Anderson will take the mound for the D-backs in the finale, as Arizona tries to capture its second straight series. Anderson has never pitched at Petco Park.
Padres: The series concludes at 6:10 p.m. PT on Wednesday, as the Padres' No. 5 starter, Brandon Morrow, makes his second start for San Diego. His first start went supremely well, as he tossed seven shutout innings in a victory over the Giants.

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