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Despaigne's rotation spot appears to be safe

LOS ANGELES -- Before Thursday's game against the Cubs, Padres manager Bud Black said pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne "needs a good one."

Black intended for the comment to be more about Despaigne's confidence level, although his standing in the team's rotation was probably tenuous after two rough outings.

Despaigne responded by allowing two runs over six innings in a loss to the Cubs, a performance that all but ensured him of another start on Tuesday against the Angels, Black said.

Despaigne, who had allowed a combined 15 earned runs in his previous two starts, allowed a two-run home run to Kris Bryant in the first inning but little else afterward.

"He certainly made better pitches as the game went on," Black said. "After the first inning, it wasn't quite what we have seen when he's at his best, but I thought he really started mixing pitches. Two runs, six innings, you'll take that every night. He did his part."

Despaigne, saw his ERA drop from 6.75 to 6.11, was happy that the work he did between his last start and Thursday's outing paid some dividends.

"The last couple results didn't necessarily go my way, but I worked hard," Despaigne said through an interpreter. "I had one pitch [the Bryant home run] that caused all the damage."

If the Padres had opted to go in a different direction from Despaigne -- who is filling in for an injured Brandon Morrow -- they would have had to dip into the Minor Leagues for an arm.

The hot candidate in the system is 24-year-old right-hander Colin Rea, who might be next in line to join the big league team. Rea has a 1.38 ERA in eight starts. But Rea went on the seven-day disabled list on Friday with back spasms.

As for Morrow -- on the disabled list with inflammation of the right shoulder -- he's scheduled to throw a bullpen session Saturday or Sunday with a likely simulated game next week while the team is in Anaheim for an Interleague series.

Corey Brock is a reporter for Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast.
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