Ian Kennedy provided a pimp performance on the pitcher's mound on Thursday night at Chase Field, earning his eleventh win of the season and helping the Arizona Diamondbacks shut out the Milwaukee Brewers 4-0.
The 26-year-old's arm was in good form as he tossed fastballs and change-ups with gusto, resulting in seven scoreless innings against the Brew Crew and striking out five players. Kennedy (11-3, 3.22 ERA) only incurred a measly four hits, only a couple of which came close to resulting in any runs for Milwaukee. He also escaped a bases loaded situation in the fifth inning by forcing Nyjer Morgan into a quick pop out.
He certainly fared far better than opposing pitcher Zach Greinke (7-4, 4.84 ERA) The Milwaukee right-hander struck out D-Backs batters easily through the first three frames, only to witness his pitches get converted into back-to-back homers by Justin Upton and Miguel Montero in the fourth inning. Both Arizona sluggers launched moonshots into the left field seats before rounding the bases with ease to put their team up 2-0. Greinke, who wound up striking out seven players overall, would eventually leave the game in the eighth inning.
Kelly Johnson then added another couple points to the scoreboard for the Diamondbacks when he came up with a two-out, two-run homer in the eighth inning against Milwaukee's bullpen.
Thursday night's victory permitted Arizona (53-46) to split the four-game series against the Brewers with two wins apiece. Unfortunately, the two losses that D-Backs endured versus the Brew Crew caused them to lose ground in the National League West standings. While they're lagging behind the San Francisco Giants by four games, this weekend's battles with the Colorado Rockies (47-52) affords them the perfect opportunity to catch up. The Mile High City squad has been ailing as of late without the services of slugger Todd Helton, who's out with a bad hamstring, and lost their most recent series with the Atlanta Braves.
The three-game series kicks off tonight at Chase Field when Daniel Hudson (10-5, 3.56) goes against the winless Aaron Cook (0-5, 5.82). First pitch is at 6:40 p.m. TV: Fox Sports Arizona. Radio: KTAR 620 A.M. For tickets and more info, visit www.dbacks.com.
Benjamin is the clubs editor at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.