Kemp goes 2 for 3 in Padres' win; Rodon sharp for White Sox
PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) Matt Kemp collected his first two hits with San Diego, including a single against touted prospect Carlos Rodon, and the Padres beat the Chicago White Sox 5-0 on Friday.
Kemp lined a single to left against Rodon in the first. He also flied to center and legged out an infield hit.
The slugger was acquired in an offseason trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers and went 0 for 3 in his spring debut.
''It feels good, but I'm still working on some things,'' Kemp said. ''Still trying to get my rhythm.''
Kemp had some trouble in right, dropping a shallow fly on the run in a stiff wind in the second. But he recovered and threw to second for a forceout.
''The wind kind of pushed it in,'' he said. ''But it still hit my glove, so I still have to make that play.''
The 22-year-old Rodon, the third pick in the 2014 draft, struck out four - all on sliders - and hit a batter in two scoreless innings. The left-hander made a fast rise through the minors last year, finishing at Triple-A Charlotte.
''You see the sharpness that he has on his slider. . I think we're all excited about what he did,'' said manager Robin Ventura, who indicated Rodon likely will get another start in place of injured ace Chris Sale.
Odrisamer Despaigne and Brandon Morrow, competing for the final spot in the Padres' rotation, each pitched two innings of two-hit ball.
White Sox: It was a big jump for Rodon, who was pitching against college and minor league hitters last year. A pregame chat with catcher Geovany Soto helped. ''He said to stay relaxed, do what you do and it's still baseball,'' Rodon said. ''He calmed me down a little bit.''
Padres: Despaigne threw 33 pitches. He struck out two and walked one. ''He showed the ability to throw strikes,'' manager Bud Black said.
White Sox: RHP Jesse Crain threw his third bullpen session Friday morning. Next up is batting practice next week. Crain missed all of last season with Houston following biceps surgery. He agreed to a minor league deal in January.
Padres: OF Justin Upton was scratched due to illness and wasn't at the park. ''He should be back in a day or two,'' Black said. ... RHP Casey Kelly (groin) had a successful bullpen session, according to Black.
New Padres catcher Derek Norris was traded to Oakland before the 2012 season during a veteran purge, so he wasn't surprised to be among the five All-Stars leaving the Athletics last offseason.
''It's just kind of what they've been doing in the recent seven or eight years,'' Norris said. ''Good luck to them, I suppose, whatever.''
Norris, who made his San Diego debut Thursday, has been busy learning new pitchers since the December trade.
''Video guys have done a good job downloading some home movies on my iPad, so I can watch some of these guys,'' Norris said. ''We're a little ahead of the game than we might be without that. It's just a matter of getting to know them. It takes time.''
White Sox: RHP Hector Noesi starts Saturday against Seattle. RHP Jeff Samardzija makes his White Sox debut on Sunday against Oakland.
Padres: It'll be a World Series rematch - sort of - when new ace James Shields makes his first San Diego start Saturday against San Francisco. Madison Bumgarner, who outdueled Shields and Kansas City in the first and fifth games on the way to winning the title last fall, starts for the Giants.
''I think it makes for good copy,'' Black said. ''Shields and Bumgarner again -- even though it will be March 7.''