Kennedy, Upton lead Padres to 8-0 rout of Mexico City
SAN DIEGO (AP) The San Diego Padres didn't have to break much of a sweat in ending spring training with an 8-0 victory against the Mexico City Red Devils on Saturday.
It'll be a lot different Monday when they start a season of big expectations at Dodger Stadium against Clayton Kershaw.
Padres newcomers Justin Upton and Matt Kemp each drove in two runs, and Ian Kennedy and seven relievers combined on a two-hitter in the exhibition game, which was part of FanFest at Petco Park.
''It was nice to get out of spring and get a nice little dry run, pitching at home before the season starts,'' Kennedy said. ''It was nice to pitch in front of a crowd like that. They were excited and it got the adrenaline up a little bit from the normal spring training outing.''
Kennedy allowed only a walk while striking out three in three innings. The Red Devils didn't get their first hit until Emmanuel Avila singled to right off Brandon Maurer in the fifth inning. Mexico City committed three errors.
The Padres added five star position players and ace James Shields in a dramatic winter makeover.
''I think we're ready,'' manager Bud Black said. ''The health of the team is in a great spot. Guys physically and mentally are in a good spot. The pitchers have come out of this spring where we need them to be pitch-count wise, how their arms feel, the quality of their pitches, so we feel good about that.''
Kemp hit a bases-loaded infield single in the third and Upton followed with a two-run double. Will Middlebrooks, another newcomer, hit a sacrifice fly.
Kemp had another RBI single in the fourth.
Wil Myers, the new center fielder, singled twice and had a nice defensive play in the fourth, when he made a diving catch of Japhet Amador's line drive and doubled Ivan Terrazas off first to end the inning.
Red Devils: LHP Alberto Castillo allowed five runs and five hits in three-plus innings, walked four and struck out three.
Padres: Kennedy got in his final tuneup before his next scheduled start, in the home opener Thursday against San Francisco.
Black said RHP Brandon Morrow will be the fifth starter and RHP Odrisamer Despaigne will go to the bullpen. The Padres have other decisions to make before Sunday to get down to the 25-man roster limit. Among them is whether left fielder Carlos Quentin stays or goes. Quentin is due $8 million. Although he's healthy and played some first base during spring training, he's had a history of knee injuries.
Sid Monge, the bullpen coach for the Red Devils, gave up Tony Gwynn's first career hit, a double, on July 19, 1982, when the Padres played at Jack Murphy Stadium. Monge was with the Philadelphia Phillies. Gwynn, who died on June 16, finished his Hall of Fame career with 3,141 hits, all in a Padres uniform.
The Padres unveiled their new HD video board in left field, which they say is the biggest in the NL and the third-biggest in MLB. Costing between $10 million and $12 million, it is 61 feet tall and 124 feet wide, nearly five times as big as the original video screen at Petco Park, which opened in 2004.
Shields gets the start Monday afternoon against Kershaw, who won the NL MVP and Cy Young awards last year.