Ian Kennedy allowed one run over eight innings, Miguel Montero hit a pair of RBI doubles and the Arizona Diamondbacks defeated the San Diego Padres, 3-2, on Tuesday in the opener of a three-game series.
Kennedy (14-11) gave up a sacrifice fly to Yonder Alonso during a 30-pitch first inning before finding his stride. In all, the righty gave up seven hits with two walks and six strikeouts while improving to 3-0 over his last four starts.
"It was a classic case of him getting better as the game went on," Padres manager Bud Black said of Kennedy.
J.J. Putz allowed an unearned run in the ninth before securing his 30th save of the season.
Paul Goldschmidt had a two-out RBI single in the first inning before scoring on Montero's double to right.
In the fifth, Montero drove home Justin Upton with a two-out blast off the base of the wall in center field.
The Diamondbacks, who have won four of six, remain 4 1/2 games out of the final NL wild card spot due to a win by the St. Louis Cardinals earlier Tuesday.
Eric Stults (6-3) gave up three runs on five hits over six innings for San Diego and suffered his first loss since returning to the starting rotation on Aug. 6.
The Padres, who were coming off a 7-2 homestand, were winners in their previous six trips to Chase Field this season. They are now seven games out of the last NL wild card spot.
Diamondbacks center fielder Chris Young returned to the starting lineup for the first time since Sept. 3 but aggravated a right quad injury while making a running catch on the first play of the game.
Gerardo Parra entered in left field for Young and Adam Eaton moved from left to center.
"It's extremely frustrating," said Young. "I've been practicing every day, but game speed is just a little different."
In the ninth inning, Chris Denorfia led off with a line drive single to center and the ball rolled past Eaton, allowing Denorfia to reach third base. Will Venable followed with a sac fly before Putz retired Jesus Guzman and pinch- hitter Mark Kotsay to end the game.
Eaton walked twice and scored a run ... Kennedy improved to 7-1 in 11 career starts against the Padres. He is 8-3 at home on the season ... Stults suffered his first loss since June 3 ... San Diego leads the season-series, 10-6.