Correia encouraged by latest outing
Favorite for fourth spot in rotation pleased with command
PEORIA, Ariz. -- As the first Padres pitcher to work three innings in an appearance this spring, Kevin Correia said his start on Friday against Colorado came close to feeling like a real regular season start.
"Three is kind of the minimum where you are actually out there pitching for a while, where you're going through the lineup at least once," Correia said. "But it is still pretty short. It's also long for not having thrown more than one inning since last year."
Correia, considered the early favorite to become the fourth starter, allowed two runs in the first inning against the Rockies but settled down to throw two scoreless innings that saw him work fast while using a two-seam fastball that had considerable sink.
Correia, who got four ground-ball outs, needed 34 pitches to cover three innings. Afterward, he declared himself ready for more work, possibly upwards of 60 pitches in the next start.
"I did what I wanted to do," he said. "There's not really one pitch I'm working on right now. But I threw everything when I wanted to. I felt a lot better than I did in my first outing. That's all that I'm looking for right now."
Correia allowed one run in two innings in his first start of the spring on Feb. 28 against the Kansas City Royals in Surprise.
"He was locating the ball down, resulting in a lot of ground balls," Padres manager Bud Black said. "I thought he threw the ball fine. He threw some good changeups, had a good slider. He's got to continue to get the ball in the zone and change speeds, like all pitchers, but I think he has that in him."
Correia got a ground ball to start the game, a ball to Kyle Blanks at first base, but speedy leadoff hitter Scott Podsednik beat both Blanks and Correia to the bag. This proved to be important later when Podsednik would score on a double-play ball. Yorvit Torrealba drilled a home run later in the inning.
"It was just a hustle hit right there," Correia said of the ball Podsednik hit. "It should be an out but he turned it into a hit."
The ability to keep the ball down with his two-seam fastball that has sinkerball action to it helped Correia steer clear of trouble over his final two shutout innings.
"That's a great pitch to have when you need a ground ball," Correia said. "In certain situations it's going to save you a ton of pitches. I used it a lot more than I normally do. I was real encouraged by what I saw."
The Padres game on Saturday against the Oakland A's will be broadcast live on Channel 4 in San Diego and nationally by the MLB Network, who will use the Channel 4 feed.
Minor League outfielder Chad Huffman hit a grand slam in the ninth inning, but it wasn't enough as the Padres fell to the Rockies, 13-11. Chase Headley and Blanks also hit home runs for San Diego.
Rookie shortstop Everth Cabrera made two errors on Friday, giving him five for the spring. He also threw a ball away near third base, a play in which he wasn't charged with an error. "It looks like at times he's trying to do too much," Black said.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.