Ian Kennedy was in rare form yesterday afternoon during the Arizona Diamondbacks 11-5 victory over the San Diego Padres. Not only did the 25-year-old starting pitcher notch his eighth win of the season, he provided one of the best performances of his entire career.
Kennedy tallied seven shutout innings from the hill and fanned 12 batters -- a personal record -- needing only 105 pitches to do so (62 of which were strikes). Setting aside the fact he beaned David Eckstein and permitted one hit and a pair of walks during the early innings, the former Yankees hurler was putting on a virtual pitching clinic at PETCO Park.
Meanwhile, the rest of the D-Backs were busy schooling San Diego with multiple homers and hits off the pitching of Kevin Correia. Chris Young's RBI single plated Justin Upton in the first, followed by a three-run moonshot from Stephen Drew in the second.
Then came the fourth, which was rife with ribbies. Back-to-back hits by Drew and J-Up brought in two runs and Young's bases-loaded double to deep left (off of a 2-1 heater from Padres reliever Tim Stauffer) made the score 9-0. The deluge continued into the seventh after a two-run homer by Mark Reynolds.
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Thursday's win allowed the D-Backs (50-78) to salvage at least one win from the three-game series, as well as letting them play the role of spoiler against San Diego, which tops San Francisco by six games in the NL West standings.
Speaking of the Jints, the Bay Area will be Arizona's next destination as they continue their current west coast road swing. San Fran's currently engaged in a fierce battle for the wild card slot with both the Philadelphia Phillies and St. Louis Cardinals, so this weekend's series with the D-Backs at AT&T should be plenty competitive.
It begins this evening when Barry Enright (4-2, 2.73 ERA) squares off with punky-looking pitching machine Tim Lincecum (11-8, 3.72). Although the Snakes haven't named their starter for Sunday's finale against the Giants' Matt Cain (10-10, 3.07), Saturday's matchup with feature Daniel Hudson (3-1, 1.72) taking on lefty Barry Zito (8-9, 3.78).
First pitch for tonight's game is at 7:15 p.m. TV: Fox Sports Arizona. Radio: KTAR 620-AM. More info: www.dbacks.com.