Ian Kennedy and the rest of the Arizona Diamondbacks got a big monkey off their backs last night by beating the San Diego Padres 3-2 at Chase Field. Both the ginger-haired hurler and his team notched their first win over San Diego at home after the D-backs maintained control of the contest from the first inning onwards. Victories over the SoCal squad have been rare occurrence this season, period, as San Diego's thumped Arizona on 11 different occasions.
Arizona (73-74), however, secured a W and also kept its infinitesimally small postseason hopes afloat with the victory, but are still 4.5 games out of the second wild card spot in the National League playoff picture.
Kennedy (14-11, 4.08 ERA) nearly went the distance on Tuesday night, pitching eight innings versus the Padres, fanning six and enduring seven hits in the process. He got off to a rocky start in the first frame, however, loading the bases after allowing a single from Logan Forsythe walking Chase Headley, and permitting Yasmani Grandal to reach base.
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After a sacrifice fly by Yonder Alonso gave Kennedy his only run of the game, the pitcher settled down and got two groundouts to escape the inning, albeit with a total of 30 pitches recorded.
Arizona got that run back in the bottom half of the first, however, thanks to the efforts of Adam Eaton. San Diego's Eric Stults (6-3, 2.69) walked the Diamondbacks rookie, who then proceeded to steal second, putting him in scoring position for Paul Goldschmidt's RBI single. Miguel Montero then followed with an RBI double to score Goldy.
Eaton negated his pimp play in the ninth inning when he pulled a major fielding boner. The rookie allowed a single by San Diego's Chris Denorfia to roll past his glove, turning the swat into a default triple. Will Venable's sacrifice fly then allowed a run, making the game 3-2. Thankfully, closer J.J. Putz forced two straight grounders to end the game.
Arizona will attempt to get another home win over the Padres tonight when Trevor Cahill (11-11, 3.92) takes the mound against San Diego's Edinson Volquez (10-10, 4.24). First pitch is at 6:40 p.m. TV: Fox Sports Arizona. Radio: KTAR 620-AM. More info: www.dbacks.com.