Kennedy goes 7 innings for Diamondbacks

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — For the second straight start, Ian Kennedy looked ready to start on opening day.

The Arizona ace pitched seven strong innings against a Chicago Cubs split squad for a 3-2 win on Monday.

“I was disappointed in the walks I gave up but I felt pretty happy how my stuff is coming along, “Kennedy said. ” I got the pitch count up, that is why I went out in the seventh inning, to try and get it up because I was making contact early and getting quick outs.”

He walked two, allowing a run and five hits with four strikeouts.

In Kennedy’s last two outings he has given up just one run and 10 hits in 11 innings.

“I am happy with the way things have come along,” Kennedy said. “Spring training is trying to get ready for the season. It is nice to go seven today.”

Paul Goldschmidt hit a solo home run for the Diamondbacks and Justin Upton hit two doubles. Closer J.J. Putz pitched a perfect ninth for the save.

“This was good. We worked on a lot of things,” Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. “We worked on stealing third pregame and Aaron Hill did it right away. We worked on techniques and reads. In general every day at home we work on something and the guys have been pretty open and receptive and try to engage that into the game.”

Cubs starter Jay Jackson went four innings and allowed three runs and seven hits. He is considered a long shot to crack the rotation.

Blake DeWitt and Ian Stewart hit back-to-back doubles in the seventh inning for the Cubs’ run off Kennedy.

NOTES: Gibson announced the club’s starting rotation for the season. After Kennedy will be Daniel Hudson, Josh Collmenter, Trevor Cahill and Joe Saunders. “I was told that is was pretty much a matchup kind of thing,” Saunders said. “It was nothing about results, nothing about spring training. I am not getting demoted to the fifth. It was nothing about being demoted.” . Gibson also announced that top pitching prospects LHPs Tyler Skaggs and Patrick Corbin, will most likely stay with the club until the end of camp. . The Cubs released LHP Trever Miller Monday. The Cubs had until March 28 to add the 38-year old to the roster or he could request a release. Last year he spent time with Toronto, St. Louis and Boston. . Chicago also signed Shawn Camp to a minor league deal. The 36-year old Camp was released by the Seattle Mariners, Wednesday. Last season, with Toronto, Camp went 6-3 with a 4.21 ERA in 67 relief appearances.