Padres' Kennedy finally beats NL West team

The SportsXchange

SAN DIEGO -- It took 12 starts for Ian Kennedy to beat a National League West opponent this season, but the San Diego right-hander delivered in impressive fashion Monday.

Catcher Nick Hundley homered and Kennedy limited the San Francisco Giants to a run on five hits as the Padres halted a three-game slide with a 4-1 victory before an announced crowd of 25,430 at Petco Park.

Kennedy struck out seven and walked two and improved to 6-2 with a 2.59 ERA at Petco. An effective fastball helped set up his secondary pitches, allowing Kennedy (6-9) to shut down the Giants' offense and keep hitters off-balance.

"For the most part, I felt like I could throw my fastball where I needed to and kind of worked off that," said Kennedy, who had an 0-5 mark with a 5.29 ERA in 11 previous starts against the NL West. "That's how you have successful games."

Added Hundley, "He did a great job with his fastball. Working down in the zone early in the counts, elevated it when he needed to late and they had to respect him because he was throwing strikes to both sides of the plate. When you can pitch off your fastball like that and get outs with your fastball like that, it's going to be a successful day."

Huston Street retired the side in order in the ninth for his 26th save.

Giants' starter Barry Zito lasted just four innings, giving up four runs on four hits with three walks and three strikeouts on 73 pitches (46 strikes). Zito (4-11), who lost his eighth straight decision, tying a career high, has just one win in his last 20 outings. He is 1-6 at Petco.

"He threw well the first inning," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He had trouble finding the strike zone there and that caused all the problems. That's what did him in."

Zito hasn't won a road game since Game 5 of the NL Championship Series in St. Louis last season.

"I've been having my tough games on the road consistently through the year," Zito said. "Normally, the splits don't really go that hard in one direction."

The Padres (61-76) scored three runs in the second off Zito, who struggled with his command, issuing all three of his walks in the inning, including one to Kennedy. Ronny Cedeno drove home Kyle Blanks, who walked, for a 1-0 San Diego lead. After a walk to Kennedy loaded the bases, Chris Denorfia hit a two-run single to right with two outs to score Logan Forsythe and Cedeno for a three-run cushion.

"That was big," Padres manager Bud Black said. "After the walk to the pitcher, you've really got to capitalize on that. That's been eluding us lately, the real big hit. That's what happened a little bit at Dodger Stadium. We couldn't get that big hit."

The Padres were swept by the Dodgers over the weekend and managed just four runs during the three-game series.

Hundley kept the Padres' offense going against the Giants, driving a 1-0 pitch from Zito an estimated 422 feet over the wall in left-center for his career-high 11th home run of the season with one out in the fourth for a 4-0 Padres lead.

"I think he was trying to throw a little cutter in," Hundley said. "I don't think he got it to where he wanted to. You don't want to miss those type of mistakes because you don't get them too often."

Brandon Belt put the Giants (61-76) on the board with an RBI double with two outs in the fifth, but they managed nothing else. The Giants had runners at first and third with one out in the eighth, but reliever Luke Gregerson retired Pablo Sandoval and Brandon Crawford on groundouts to end the inning.

NOTES: Giants RHP Matt Cain threw 90 pitches in a bullpen session Monday. Cain will return to the mound Saturday when he starts against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He has been on the disabled list since Aug. 23 with a right forearm contusion. ... Giants OF Hunter Pence extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a single in the eighth. ... Padres 3B Chase Headley didn't start for the fifth consecutive game because of a lower back injury. ... Padres 1B Yonder Alonso will get an MRI on his right hand Tuesday. Alonso hurt the hand on a check swing in Friday night's loss to the Dodgers. ... San Diego RHP Burch Smith was recalled from Triple-A Tucson on Monday. Smith, 23, is serving his fourth stint with the Padres this season, going 0-1 with an 11.37 ERA with 15 strikeouts and seven walks in 12 2/3 innings.
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