Kennedy strikes out 12, Arizona pummels Pads 11-5
Drew finished a torrid series by hitting a three-run home run and an RBI double while Kennedy struck out a career-high 12 in a combined four-hitter as the last-place Arizona Diamondbacks beat the NL West-leading Padres 11-5 on Thursday.
Drew was 7 for 14 in the three-game series, with three homers, four doubles, six RBIs and four runs scored. The Diamondbacks avoided a sweep by winning in San Diego for the first time in nine games this year, and 10 dating to last year.
On Wednesday night, Drew hit two homers and two doubles. He had a double on Tuesday night.
“It was just one of those two games,” Drew said. “It was pretty neat. This park obviously has played big. It’s still going to play big. It’s just one of those things that’s meant to happen. I saw the ball yesterday really good and I saw the ball good today. I’ve been here before where it seems like I’ve hit balls and had nothing for it.”
Correia retired Arizona’s first two batters in the second before allowing Parra’s single and a walk to Kennedy. Drew hit Correia’s next pitch onto the top of an advertising sign on the right-field wall for a 4-0 lead. It was his 11th.
Correia “couldn’t string his pitches together,” Padres manager Bud Black said. “The big blow was from a guy that’s been on fire. He’s the last guy we wanted to see at the plate. In that situation, he delivered, just like he did last night.”
Drew hit two solo homers Wednesday night.
“Stephen’s been smoking the ball lately, even leading up to this series, where he was getting out but still hitting the ball pretty well,” Kennedy said. “The last two games he’s been pretty hot. He’s one guy you don’t want to face.
“He made it look like a hitter’s park this series. You can’t really tell it’s a pitcher’s park with him up, the last two games, especially.”
The early lead helped Kennedy settle down.
“He pitched great,” interim manager Kirk Gibson said. “He didn’t have his good command early. When we got four runs, he turned into a different pitcher. If you get the lead in this park, you’ve got to pound the zone. He did a really good job of it and started relaxing.”
Coming off a start in which he allowed a career-high 10 hits in five innings, Kennedy (8-9) one-hit the Padres through seven shutout innings. After allowing Will Venable’s(notes) single to right-center with two outs in the fourth, Kennedy retired his final 10 batters, five by strikeout. He walked two in the first inning but struck out the side.
Kennedy’s previous strikeout high was nine, set in a 13-1 win again San Francisco on May 19.
“Our team scoring a lot of runs early on, you just pound the strike zone and just let them get themselves out,” Kennedy said. “The offense came through and it makes it easier on yourself. When you have that lead early on, you just really want to try get ahead of guys and try not to even come back.”
The Padres trailed 11-0 going into the eighth before being spared their worst loss of the season. Adrian Gonzalez(notes) hit a grand slam off reliever Sam Demel(notes) and a run that scored on catcher Miguel Montero’s(notes) error during a rundown.
Gonzalez’s fourth career grand slam also was his 157th homer as a Padre, moving him out of a tie with Phil Nevin and into sole possession of second place on the team’s all-time list.
San Diego’s lead in the NL West dipped to six games over the idle San Francisco Giants.
Mark Reynolds(notes) added a two-run homer, his 28th, as Arizona had 16 hits. Chris Young also drove in four runs, including a bases-clearing double in the fourth. Justin Upton(notes) and Gerardo Parra(notes) each had three hits.
The Diamondbacks added five more in the fourth, all with one out. Drew hit an RBI double that bounced over the center-field fence, Upton had an RBI single and Kelly Johnson(notes) walked to load the bases and chase Correia. Tim Stauffer(notes) came on and allowed Young’s bases-clearing double to left-center.
NOTES: The Diamondbacks reached double digits for the first time in 23 games. … Padres’ six-game home winning streak was snapped. They had won 14 of 17 at home coming in. … By scoring in the eighth, the Padres were able to keep their NL-low shutout total at six. … Padres CF Chris Denorfia(notes) had to be helped off the field in the ninth after his right hamstring cramped up while sliding into second base.