Perhaps a change of scenery is what Ian Kennedy needs to get back on track. The San Diego Padres hope so and will turn to Kennedy Sunday in the finale of a three-game series versus the New York Yankees.
Kennedy will make his San Diego debut and was acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks before Wednesday's trade deadline. Kennedy, who pitched sparingly with the Yankees from 2007-09, spent the last three-plus seasons with the D'backs and is a lowly 0-5 with a 5.82 ERA in his last 10 starts.
"You work so hard with the team you're with and then you get traded," Kennedy said. "But I'm excited because I got to come to a team that I'm familiar with, a division that I'm familiar with ... kind of a little mixed emotions."
San Diego shipped left-handed reliever Joe Thatcher, minor league right-hander Matt Stites and a 2014 Competitive Balance Round B Draft pick to the D'backs for Kennedy.
The right-hander and former All-Star made 21 starts for Arizona and compiled a 3-8 mark with a 5.23 ERA. Kennedy, who hasn't won since June 1, has allowed at least two runs in each of his past seven outings. He has never faced the Yankees and is 3-1 with a 2.27 ERA in six career starts in San Diego.
San Diego took Friday's opener of this series behind a strong performance from Andrew Cashner, but Tyson Ross was dealt the tough-luck loss in Saturday night's 3-0 defeat. Ross struck out nine batters and allowed two runs in six- plus innings to fall to 2-5. He didn't allow a hit through the first 4 1/3 innings and served up Curtis Granderson's two-run homer in the seventh.
"We're excited about Tyson," Padres manager Bud Black said. "We were excited about him in the offseason. We saw him in spring training and we were excited about him. So these last two outings should give him a great boost of confidence moving forward here the next couple months."
Ross didn't get much help from his offense and Chase Headley had two of the five hits for the Padres, who have lost two of three games since winning four in a row. San Diego will host Baltimore for two games on this homestand.
The Alex Rodriguez drama escalated on Saturday in a report that the slugging third baseman is facing a severe penalty by Major League Baseball due to his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal. The New York Daily News reported that the league has rejected requests from the troubled New York Yankees third baseman's representatives to continue negotiations regarding a possible settlement of his looming suspension.
Rodriguez is allegedly facing a 214-game suspension that will run through the entire 2014 season on Monday, the day the league plans to announce all penalties for those players involved with Biogenesis of America, a Miami-area based anti-aging clinic suspected of distributing performance-enhancing substances. A-Rod is expected to return to the big league club on Monday when the Yankees visit the Chicago White Sox.
"We've said a number of times, maybe Monday," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said on the club's website. "Nothing has changed since yesterday."
Girardi continued to discuss the possibility of having Rodriguez's bat back in the lineup.
"My goal is to get him back here as a player for us," Girardi added. "That's my goal. I manage the players in the clubhouse. That's my job. My goal is to get him back. I hope we have him back on Monday."
The Yankees could use a lift offensively and are coming off Saturday's blanking of the Padres. Fresh off the disabled list, Granderson launched a big home run and scored twice to lead the charge.
"He was a part of all three runs tonight," Girardi said. "I've talked about how Curtis can change the complexion of a game really quickly and that's what he did tonight."
Yankees starter Ivan Nova struck out eight batters over seven scoreless innings, while future Hall of Fame closer Mariano Rivera hurled the ninth for his 35th save.
Derek Jeter did not play Saturday because of leg issues and the veteran shortstop could miss Sunday's series finale with the Friars. Girardi said Jeter has been battling both a calf and leg issue since Monday. Jeter, of course, has been hobbled by ankle and quad ailments this season.
The Yanks have alternated wins and losses over their last six games and sit 3 1/2 games off the wild card lead.
Phil Hughes hopes to find the win column again when the Yankees pin pitching duties on him Sunday. Hughes is winless (0-2) in his last four starts and has posted back-to-back no-decisions, including a 6-5 win versus Tampa Bay last Sunday. He lasted only four innings and gave up five runs and nine hits.
Hughes, who is only 4-9 in 20 starts with a 4.58 ERA, has never faced the Padres and the right-hander owns a 3-2 record in nine road assignments. New York is 8-12 when Hughes takes the mound this season.
The Yankees took two of three from the Padres the last time they were in San Diego back in 2002.