Tuesday, July 08, 2014
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Kennedy's pitching lifts Padres to win

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[July 08, 2014]  DENVER - The San Diego Padres' offense often seems to be descended from the Dead Ball Era, so they generally must pitch exceedingly well and somehow score a few runs in order to win.

It does not leave much margin for error, but it worked Monday night. Ian Kennedy gave the Padres a superb start, and the offense produced a lot of runs by their standards in a 6-1 win over the Colorado Rockies.

Entering the game, San Diego was hitting .213 and averaging 2.98 runs per game. The Padres' offense was not doing much again in a 1-1 game until they scored twice in the sixth and added three more runs in the seventh to complete the scoring.

The win was the sixth in eight games for the Padres (40-49). The Rockies (37-53) fell for the 18th time in 21 games. Colorado also lost for the 16th time in its past 21 home games, including three of four to the Los Angeles Dodgers to start this current 10-game homestand that will conclude with a weekend series against Minnesota.

"We can't afford to lose series," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "We've got to start winning series. We're getting some (injured) guys back, but bottom line is we have to start winning some series."

Kennedy (7-9) pitched seven innings and gave up one run on four hits, including center fielder Drew Stubbs' homer in the fourth. Kennedy walked two and struck out nine, eight of them swinging. Padres pitchers finished with 13 strikeouts.

"I was getting ahead of guys with the fastball," Kennedy said. "It was allowing me to throw my off-speed pitches down in the zone."



Kennedy is 4-4 with a 2.77 ERA against the Rockies in 16 career starts, seven of them at Coors Field where he is 2-2 with a 3.24 ERA.

Rockies starter Tyler Matzek (1-3) was lifted after he walked Kennedy and gave up a single to Chris Denorfia to start the seventh. Making his sixth career start, Matzek issued four walks, tying his career high, while allowing five runs on eight hits. He struck out four while throwing 95 pitches, just 52 strikes, and threw first-pitch strikes to 11 of 28 batters.

"I started falling behind guys," Matzek said. "I was picking corners and trying to be fine. First-pitch strike's the most important thing. You get hitters in hitters' counts, and they're going to hit the ball."

Matt Belisle took over for Matzek and gave up a two-run triple on an 0-2 pitch to third baseman Chase Headley, the ball rebounding far off the wall in the right field corner, allowing Headley to scamper to third. Left fielder Carlos Quentin followed with a sacrifice fly.

After the seventh, the game was delayed by rain for 56 minutes, long enough to finish Kennedy's outing. He threw 96 pitches and would have gone out for the eighth had it not been for the delay, Padres manager Bud Black said.

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Padres catcher Rene Rivera finished 2-for-2 with two walks, and Headley went 4-for-5 with two RBIs. It was Headley's second four-hit game in four days and came after he went 11-for-34 on the Padres' homestand that ended Sunday.

The switch-hitting Headley recently went back to an unorthodox grip he had always used -- he drapes the pinkie finger of his top hand over two others -- before a broken left thumb in spring training in 2013 forced him to open that season on the disabled list.

"When I came back (from the injury), I went to kind of a more conventional grip," Headley said. "Decided to try to stay with it. Gave it a fair number of at-bats this year, and I didn't feel like I was able to control the barrel like I had in the past. I thought it was time to make an adjustment. I feel like it lets me be a little bit shorter to the ball. Gives you a little bit more leverage."

NOTES: Padres RHP Tyson Ross is scheduled to start Sunday at Dodger Stadium, so he will not be available to pitch in the All-Star Game two days later. However, he will go to Minnesota to participate in the festivities. ... Padres LHP Robbie Erlin, out since mid-May due to left elbow soreness, is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Tuesday in Peoria, Ariz. ... Padres RHP Nick Vincent (right shoulder fatigue) is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Tuesday at Coors Field. Barring a setback, he would go out on a rehab assignment by the weekend. ... Rockies LHP Brett Anderson (fractured left index finger) made his second rehab start for Triple-A Colorado Springs on Monday, allowing one run in 5 1/3 innings. ... Colorado LF Carlos Gonzalez, who had a benign tumor removed from his left index finger June 10, began a rehab assignment for Colorado Springs. ... Rockies RHP Jhoulys Chacin (right shoulder inflammation) will undergo a platelet-rich plasma injection Tuesday. He does not need surgery but will rest four to six weeks before he might resume throwing.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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