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).
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
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.
QUOTABLE
"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.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
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'S PETCO DOMINANCE
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.
WHAT'S NEXT
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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