Kendrick looking forward to mound return

Kendrick looking forward to mound return

HOUSTON -- Right-hander Kyle Kendrick, who will pitch the first game of Thursday's doubleheader at home against Florida, is anxious to get back out there after returning from the paternity leave list last weekend.

Kendrick and wife, "Survivor" contestant Stephenie LaGrossa, welcomed their first child, a daughter, over the first weekend this month.

"I've never gone this long without facing a hitter, but I'm staying pretty sharp on the side and throwing off the mounds," Kendrick said.

Kendrick last pitched in a game on Aug. 24, a four-inning stint against the Mets, and is 4-4 with a 3.50 ERA in 13 starts this season. He has thrown a couple of bullpen sessions, but facing live hitting is the main issue, as well as arm strength.

"I haven't thrown that many pitches," he said. "But I think I should be fine. I don't know what my pitch count might be but [my goal would be] to go as deep as I can and just keep us in the game."