It wasn't exactly a happy homecoming last week for Ian Kennedy when he made his 2015 debut. In the third inning of Thursday night's home opener, Kennedy suffered a hamstring injury that took him out of the game and put him on the disabled list, making him miss tonight's matchup against his former team. But his injury became Odrisamer Despaigne's opportunity.
Despaigne lost the Padres' 5th starter competition coming out of Spring Training and started his season in the bullpen. But when Kennedy left the game on Thursday, Despaigne took over and dominated for 4 2/3 innings in relief. He allowed no runs, no hits, and no walks; and struck out one batter. Tonight, he gets the spot start against the DIamondbacks, who took the first game of the series last night.
In four career starts against Arizona, Despaigne is 1-2 with a 2.96 ERA. That's 11 runs (8 earned) through 24 1/3 innings of work, with 12 strikeouts along the way. The right-hander has found much more success at home than on the road, going 3-1 with a 1.69 ERA in nine games at Petco Park versus a 1-6 record and 5.31 ERA in eight road games.
Tonight he'll be going against Arizona's offseason acquisition, Jeremy Hellickson. Hellickson struggled in his Dbacks debut last Thursday against the Giants, giving up three runs on nine hits and a couple of walks, lasting only 4 1/3 innings on the mound. This will be the righty's first career appearance at Petco Park and second time facing the Padres . He gave up six runs in 6 2/3 innings against San Diego in 2013 as a member of the Rays.
Editor's Note: SB Nation's partner FanDuel is hosting a $125,000 one-day fantasy baseball league today. It's $2 to join and first place wins $10,000. Contest starts at 4:05 pm PT. Enter now!