Ian Kennedy's breakout season a year ago largely came at the expense of the rest of the National League West.
The Arizona Diamondbacks starter will look to keep his career record against the Padres perfect this evening in the finale of a three-game series with San Diego.
Kennedy won 21 games last season in just his second full season as a starter in the majors and dominated the rest of his division. Including his season- opening win over the Giants last Friday, the right-hander is 11-0 with a 2.28 earned run average in his past 16 starts against the NL West. He held the Giants to three runs over 6 2/3 innings to pick up his victory last week.
That win pushed Kennedy to 7-0 with a 1.95 ERA in his last eight starts dating back to last season. The 27-year-old went 3-0 with a 1.74 ERA versus the Padres last season, walking one with 29 strikeouts, and is 5-0 with a 2.01 ERA against them in his career. That includes a pair of wins and a 1.00 ERA in three career starts at Petco Park.
Kennedy will try to get the Diamondbacks back into the win column tonight. Arizona took Tuesday's opener in extra innings for its first 4-0 start in franchise history, but dropped a 2-1 decision last night.
Jason Kubel drew a bases-loaded walk in the first inning to plate the Diamondbacks' only run and Joe Saunders made that lead hold up with seven innings of four-hit ball. However, David Hernandez gave up a two-run homer to Chris Denorfia in the eighth inning to take the loss.
"In a game like that you have to shut them down," said Saunders. "We had the lead and I was just trying to throw up zeroes and give the bullpen a chance to hold it."
Ernesto Frieri posted 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief to earn the win and Huston Street followed suit in the ninth for his first save of the season for the Padres.
Starter Cory Luebke left after 5 1/3 frames, charged with four hits and a run while walking four and fanning five.
"We showed some resiliency today from the offense," said Luebke. "But we were able to get the hits when we needed them and it was enough for the win."
With Dustin Moseley on the disabled list due to a shoulder injury, Anthony Bass will make his fourth career start tonight after appearing twice in relief earlier this season.
Bass threw two perfect innings of relief versus the Dodgers last Thursday, but gave up a run on two hits over a pair of innings two days later in a loss. He retired the side in the 10th inning to begin that outing before giving up his run and hits in the 11th.
The 24-year-old righty has faced the Diamondbacks six times as a rookie last year, all in relief. He gave up two runs over 5 2/3 innings over that time without a decision.
The Padres won three of their final four games versus the Diamondbacks last year, but Arizona still won the season series 11-7.