"I'm still not quite there yet," Kennedy said. "But what I'm happy for is that I could make the in-game adjustments. I think I had guys on first and second with one out almost every inning.
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"For me, part of the battle is to make adjustments almost mid at-bat."
Kennedy's start began when speedy Billy Hamilton dropped down a perfect bunt. Before Kennedy knew it, the Reds had two runs.
"I saw that bunt and it had a little backspin -- it was like a [golf ball]," Kennedy said. "It dropped right in front of me. You just have to eat it at that point."
But Kennedy maneuvered through trouble the next three innings. The results could have been worse.
"The changeup was pretty good," he said. "I did make adjustments later on with the fastball. I didn't throw that many curveballs. This was the first time I threw my slider.
"Right now, my timing and sequencing isn't what it should be. When you're facing hitters, your front side gets a little excited and you get quick. But everyone goes through that."
Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.