Rockies-Padres Preview

The Associated Press

Ian Kennedy said joining the San Diego Padres has rejuvenated him, and he would probably love to repay them with a string of strong outings to end the season.

The right-hander will seek to build on a superb performance Sunday while helping the Padres sweep a home series against the Colorado Rockies for the first time in seven years.

A 21-game winner in 2011 with Arizona, Kennedy was 3-8 with a 5.23 ERA in 21 starts for the Diamondbacks this year when he was dealt to San Diego (64-77) on July 31. He's 3-1 with a 4.04 ERA in six outings with the Padres but has allowed two runs or fewer in four of those games.

He gave up one run over six innings and struck out seven in a 4-1 victory against San Francisco on Monday, his first win in 12 starts versus an NL West opponent this season.

"Maybe I just needed a little change of scenery," said Kennedy, who is 1-5 with a 4.97 ERA against divisional foes in 2013. "The coaching staff, the players, everyone has just made it really easy on me to feel comfortable."

Kennedy has seemed comfortable at Petco Park lately, going 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA in his last two outings there, but not in recent matchups with Colorado. He's 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in two meetings this season but both of those games were at Coors Field.

The Rockies (66-77) have dropped 17 of 22 on the road after a 2-1 loss Saturday. Jedd Gyorko hit the tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning and used some trickery on Michael Cuddyer for a game-ending double play.

Gyorko got Cuddyer to slide into second base on Nolan Arenado's fly ball and was easily thrown out at first.

"A great play," right fielder Will Venable said. "Middle infielders try to do that all the time, sometimes it works better than others. Fortunately, for us, it worked out great."

San Diego will next try to pull off a sweep of the Rockies at home for the first time since Sept. 4-6, 2006, while adding to winless rookie Chad Bettis' woes.

Bettis (0-3, 5.45) gave up five runs over 4 2-3 innings in his seventh career start Monday, a 10-8 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

"We put up that many hits and that many runs, as a pitching staff you want to win that game," Bettis told the team's website. "They stole one from us, for sure. Everybody on offense was unbelievable today and as a staff we should have been better."

The right-hander has allowed 18 runs in his last four starts spanning 18 2-3 innings.

The Padres recorded their most recent sweep over the Rockies from Sept. 19-21, 2011, in Denver.

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