Ian Kennedy nearly won a National League Cy Young Award for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2011. On Tuesday, he'll face his former club trying to deliver yet another blow to their playoff chances when the San Diego Padres continue a three-game set against them at Petco Park.
Kennedy won 21 games for the D'backs two seasons ago, but was just 18-20 with a 4.47 ERA in the year and a half that followed, and Arizona shipped him to San Diego at this year's trade deadline.
The right-hander, who has never faced Arizona, is 2-1 with a 3.20 ERA in four games with the Padres and is coming off his best outing with them. Kennedy beat the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday, scattering four hits over seven scoreless innings.
"We're seeing the pitcher we thought we'd get," San Diego manager Bud Black said.
Arizona won for only the second time in six games in Monday's opener, as Brandon McCarthy pitched seven innings to earn his first win in more than three months to help the Diamondbacks in a 6-1 triumph.
Martin Prado drove in three runs and Paul Goldschmidt added a pair of RBI for Arizona, which returned home following a 4-6 road trip. It is now six games behind Cincinnati for the National League's second wild card spot.
McCarthy (3-8) allowed five hits and one unearned run. The right-hander also had five strikeouts and didn't walk a batter over his 93-pitch performance. It was his first win since May 24 against San Diego. McCarthy had been 0-5 with an 8.59 ERA over his previous five starts.
"Getting ahead is a good sign. It's something I've struggled with in the last few weeks," McCarthy said. "Tonight I think was a good first step where I've felt normal again, getting good results."
Tyson Ross (3-7) was charged with seven hits and six runs -- four earned -- over six-plus innings.
"I thought he threw the ball well. They put the bat on the ball and some grounders found some holes. We just couldn't get any runs," Black said.
On Tuesday the Diamondbacks will turn to lefty David Holmberg, who will be making his major league debut.
The 22-year-old hurler is one of the team's top pitching prospects and was 5-7 with a 2.66 ERA in 25 starts for Double-A Mobile this season. However, he has pitched to 1.59 ERA over his last six outings.
Despite Monday's loss San Diego leads the season series with Arizona, 8-5.