Kennedy efficient with curveball in 'B' game

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rather than throw against the A's on Sunday, D-backs right-hander Ian Kennedy threw four innings against Minor Leaguers from the Giants in a back-field "B" game.

Kennedy has worked this spring on getting more comfortable with his curveball early in camp, because last season he felt it did not come around until later in the season.

With that in mind, and because it was a "B" game, he threw the curveball far more often than usual. When he would normally throw a change, he instead went with the curve.

"I felt pretty comfortable with it, nice and easy with it, and I'm getting it over for strikes," Kennedy said. "I'm really happy with how it's going."

In a "B" game, the rules can be manipulated when needed. For instance, with Kennedy being economical with his pitches, his work in innings two, three and four were extended by one batter each. So technically, he recorded 15 outs.

Kennedy was so efficient in retiring the first 10 batters he faced in the first three innings that he realized to start the fourth that he might want to pitch out of the stretch even without a runner on just to make sure he got some reps that way.

Kennedy fanned four and allowed just one hit.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.