It seems a change of scenery is what Ian Kennedy needed to get back on track and he will lead the San Diego Padres into Sunday's finale of a three-game series versus the Colorado Rockies at Petco Park.
Kennedy is 3-1 with a 4.04 ERA in six starts with the Padres since coming over in a trade with Arizona. The former All-Star was 3-8 in 21 starts with the D'backs and tossed six innings of one-run ball in a 4-1 win over San Francisco on Monday. He fanned seven batters and issued two walks.
The right-handed Kennedy rebounded from a rough outing on Aug. 27 against his former club and was hit for six runs in 4 1/3 innings. Kennedy is 0-1 in two outings against the Rockies this season and 3-3 with a 2.96 ERA in 14 career starts in this series.
San Diego is in line for a sweep of the Rockies after taking the first two matchups of this set, including Saturday's 2-1 decision thanks to Jedd Gyorko's home run leading off the bottom of the eighth inning. Gyorko finished 2-for-4 and Alexi Amarista drove in a run for the Padres, winners in four of the previous five games.
Padres starter Tyson Ross scattered three hits and two walks over seven shutout innings in the no-decision, while Luke Gregerson picked up the win despite allowing an unearned run in the eighth.
"He threw seven scoreless innings and gave up only three hits, but there have been times this season where he gets back in the rotation and pitched better than he did tonight. That is a great sign," Padres manager Bud Black said of Ross.
Huston Street got his 28th save with a scoreless ninth inning.
The Padres will open a 10-game eastern trek Tuesday against Philadelphia, Atlanta and Pittsburgh.
Colorado is winless (0-2) on its nine-game western swing and has lost four of its past five overall. In Saturday's tough loss to the Friars, Matt Belisle allowed Gyorko's home run to take the defeat and starter Tyler Chatwood's six innings of one-run ball went to waste.
"I had a pretty good sinker tonight and a pretty good curveball. I got to go out there and pitch that long and kept us in the game," said Chatwood.
The Rockies, who will visit San Francisco and Arizona on the trek, hope rookie starter Chad Bettis can salvage this set Sunday and he is 0-3 with a 5.45 ERA in seven starts. Colorado is 1-6 in that time and Bettis last pitched in Monday's 10-8 loss to Los Angeles. He did not record a decision and was touched for five runs in 4 2/3 innings.
Bettis, a right-hander, will face the Padres for the first time. Veteran starting pitcher Roy Oswalt is expected to see action Sunday, too, and he has lost all four of his starts with Colorado.
The Rockies are 12-6 against the Padres this season.