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Montero, McCarthy lead Diamondbacks past Padres

The SportsXchange

SAN DIEGO -- Catcher Miguel Montero celebrated his 800th game for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday night by making life miserable for former batterymate Ian Kennedy.

Montero homered leading off the second inning and added two singles against Kennedy, and right-hander Brandon McCarthy pitched seven scoreless innings as the Diamondbacks held on to defeat the San Diego Padres 4-3 before 35,213 at Petco Park.

The Padres were trailing 4-0 entering the ninth and facing a second straight shutout loss to the Diamondbacks when they scored three times against Arizona reliever J.J. Putz and closer Addison Reed.

Left fielder Seth Smith opened the rally with his third hit of the night. Catcher Yasmani Grandal doubled home Smith, ending a run of 17 straight scoreless innings against the Diamondbacks. Second baseman Jedd Gyorko then hit a 411-foot, two-run homer off Reed to bring the Padres to within a run.

Reed retired first baseman Yonder Alonso on a grounder to first. But center fielder Cameron Maybin doubled into the left field corner and pinch-hitter Will Venable walked before Reed retired Xavier Nady on a fly to right to strand the tying run at second and pick up his eighth save.

Arizona has won three straight and the Padres have lost four in a row.

Like Bronson Arroyo on Friday, McCarthy used the struggling Padres offense -- San Diego is hitting .172 during the past seven games -- as an antidote to a slow start.

"I know for me and Bronson, it's a relief when you are not the goat every time out," said McCarthy, who entered Saturday's game with an 0-5 record and a 5.54 ERA.

McCarthy allowed three hits and a walk while striking out six. His ERA dropped to 4.67.

"It's just nice contributing," McCarthy said. "Montero and I got on a good page early. I just kind of let it settle in. I didn't feel as strong as I had in some of my previous starts, but I let it settle in."

Two of the three hits against McCarthy were doubles by Smith. But San Diego was 0-for-5 against McCarthy with Smith in scoring position -- and Smith was the lone Padre to be in scoring position against McCarthy.

Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks had 13 hits against Kennedy and reliever Donn Roach.

Left fielder Alfredo Marte, who was promoted from Triple-A Reno on Friday, drove in two runs with a double and a single. Shortstop Chris Owings had three hits, including a run-scoring single.

Entering the game, left-handed hitters were batting only .130 (6-for-46) against Kennedy.

Montero not only had three hits against his former teammate in as many at-bats, but his line drive back to the mound in the third nearly hit Kennedy in the head. Kennedy got his glove in the way and the ball ricocheted to the third-base side of the mound for a single.

"That was the second-hardest ball ever hit back at me," Kennedy said. "Miggie fouled off some good pitches tonight. The pitches he hit weren't very good."

Montero's home run came on a 1-and-2 changeup that he drove 419 feet into the sand beyond the fence in right center.

Second baseman Aaron Hill flied out to left after Montero's homer. But the Diamondbacks made it 2-0 on back-to-back, opposite-field doubles inside the right-field foul line by Owings and Marte.

Kennedy avoided further damage in the inning by striking out center fielder Ender Inciarte and McCarthy.

But Kennedy, who had allowed two runs and seven hits in 13 innings in his two previous starts, gave up three runs and 11 hits in five innings on Saturday night to fall to 2-4 with a 3.43 ERA.

After Padres center fielder Cameron Maybin made a leaping catch above the wall in center to deny Paul Goldschmidt a homer leading off the fifth, Arizona added its third run scored on three straight one-out singles by Montero, Hill and Owings. As Kennedy did in the second, he struck out the last two hitters to avoid further damage.

"I could have been better," Kennedy said. "I fell behind guys. That was a constant battle, falling behind hitters."

Padres manager Bud Black said, "Ian didn't quite have the command we've seen in his last several starts."

Meanwhile, the Padres did not score a run for their starting pitcher in a fourth straight game. Kennedy's two-out single in the third was the first hit off McCarthy.

NOTES: Padres CF Cameron Maybin made a leaping catch at the fence in the fifth to rob Paul Goldschmidt of his fifth homer of the season. ... The Padres promoted RHP Matt Wisler, considered one of the organization's top three prospects, from Double-A San Antonio to Triple-A El Paso.

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