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Diamondbacks 7, Padres 5: Casey Kelly rides again

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

We watch spring training games for a few reasons. They don't count for anything, but after a long offseason, baseball fans are desperate for anything they can get. It's an exciting glimpse at what's to come during the regular season. But sometime's the best part of a spring training game is a look into the future, with top prospects playing alongside big league stars. That was true today, when Casey Kelly took the mound for the first time in 10 months.

Kelly, the centerpiece of the package the Red Sox sent over in exchange for Adrian Gonzalez, was one of the many Padres pitchers to have Tommy John surgery in recent years. After spending the entire 2013 season rehabbing, last May he returned to playing in the minors... for four games. Elbow soreness sent him back to rehab for the rest of the 2014 season. So it was a big deal to see him take the mound in the eighth inning of this afternoon's game. Kelly didn't even have to work that hard. He retired the side in order on seven pitches. Fly out, bunt, ground out. Done. Here's hoping he's back for good this time.

In other highlights, Justin Upton and Matt Kemp both hit doubles today. Cory Spangenberg went 2 for 2, as did Tommy Medica. Medica continued his quest for the title of Mr. March with his third homer the spring. And, miraculously, Carlos Quentin has still avoided injury. In lowlights, Brandon Morrow gave up five runs on eight hits in 3.2 innings. Odrisamer Despaigne took the opportunity to make his case for the fifth spot in the rotation. He looked much better in comparison, but still allowed two runs in his 3.1 innings.

James Shields is back on the hill tomorrow, taking on the Cubs at 1:05 PM. You can listen to the game on ESPN 1700, or catch a delayed telecast on MLB Network.

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