PEORIA, Ariz. -- D-backs pitcher Ian Kennedy was forced to leave his Saturday start earlier than planned after being struck in his left leg by a line drive off the bat of Jedd Gyorko in the fourth inning.
The ball caught Kennedy just below his knee and ricocheted to first, where Paul Goldschmidt stepped on the base for the out.
Rather than have Kennedy test out the leg and throw some practice pitches, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson immediately removed him, not wanting his ace to risk further injury in a Spring Training game.
"That was hit pretty hard," Kennedy said. "It could have been a lot worse. I'm glad I didn't rub it or go down. It got me pretty good. When the ball got to first base, that's when the pain set in. I knew if I stopped walking it would hurt even more. When I got to the dugout and sat for five seconds it started to get stiff."
During his five-minute session with reporters, Kennedy's leg noticeably swelled, but he said he did not think it would prevent him from making his next spring appearance. Kennedy is slated to start Arizona's April 1 opener against the Cardinals.
Kennedy allowed one run to the Padres through his first three innings Saturday and retired the first hitter in the fourth.
That's when things took a turn for the worse. He allowed a walk and then back-to-back homers before getting injured.
"My arm felt good," Kennedy said. "My location wasn't great, especially on the homers. I felt like I was getting ahead and then I couldn't finish off with my pitches. I'm not happy with how my command was. Curveball wasn't that great, didn't throw many changeups, but health-wise overall felt strong."
Except, of course, for the welt on his leg.