"They're patient, patient hitters," Rodon said. "Just trying to see what I have. I was just throwing it up there, trying to throw strikes."
Rodon, the third overall pick in the 2014 Draft, walked one and made good use of his fastball and slider in a start that covered 31 pitches, including 21 strikes. The only hit he allowed was a first-inning single to Kemp.
The Padres sent two candidates for the No. 5 spot in their rotation to the mound -- Odrisamer Despaigne and Brandon Morrow. Both showed well.
Despaigne allowed two hits over two innings with one walk and two strikeouts.
Morrow, who signed a one-year deal with San Diego in December, also had two innings of two-hit ball, striking out one with one walk.
Kevin Quackenbush and Nick Vincent, important pieces to the Padres' bullpen a year ago, each tossed an inning. Vincent struck out two in the top of the sixth inning.
White Sox right fielder Avisail Garcia had hits in his first two at-bats and added a stolen base.
San Diego catcher Tim Federowicz gave the Padres a 1-0 lead with an RBI double in the fifth inning that allowed pinch-runner Abraham Almonte to score from first base. Almonte was running for Clint Barmes, who reached on a single.
Kemp then followed with his second hit of the game, which drove in Ramiro Pena, who was running for Federowicz.
Up next for the White Sox: Hector Noesi, who moved quickly from reliever to fifth starter after being added by the White Sox during the 2014 season, makes his Cactus League debut Saturday (2:05 p.m. CT, free webcast). Noesi is being counted on once again to fill out the starting rotation, behind Chris Sale, Jeff Samardzija, Jose Quintana and John Danks. The White Sox also will have their first B game, with Erik Johnson getting the start.
Corey Brock is the San Diego Padres beat reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.