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Preview: Rockies (56-80) at Padres (65-72)
Venue: PETCO Park
Date: September 07, 2015 4:10 PM EDT
Ian Kennedy’s record would be a lot more respectable if the San Diego Padres were providing even an iota of run support for the veteran right-hander.
The Padres may be able to buck that trend in his upcoming start considering their two largest scoring outbursts of the season came against the Colorado Rockies.
Kennedy looks to avoid matching a career worst for losses when he takes the hill Monday in the opener of a four-game set against the Rockies at Petco Park.
Kennedy (8-12, 3.88 ERA) has been mostly consistent this season but owns a slew of hard-luck losses to show for it. Behind the third-lowest run-support average in the majors (3.18), Kennedy has won two straight starts only twice this year.
Although he has allowed one of the highest home run totals in baseball with 27 – one shy of his career worst – Kennedy’s 1.24 WHIP is his best in four years and his 9.02 strikeouts per nine innings rank among the top 20 in the big leagues.
In his 25 outings, the Padres have backed Kennedy with more than three runs only four times, a big reason why he’s 7-5 across 15 quality starts. He’s been outstanding in his previous four with a 1.71 ERA, 37 strikeouts and an opponents’ batting average of .189, but he’s gone 1-2 with just five total runs of support over 26 1-3 innings.
Kennedy struck out a season-high 12 while outdueling Texas’ Cole Hamels on Wednesday and departed with a 3-2 lead after seven before the Padres lost 4-3 in 10.
“It goes unnoticed how great he was,” Padres interim manager Pat Murphy said of Kennedy after that outing. “Great performance, great performance battling their No. 1.”
San Diego (65-72), which dropped three of four to the Los Angeles Dodgers over the weekend to fall to 2-5 on an 11-game homestand, may find the inspiration to give Kennedy some breathing room in its mastery of the Rockies (56-80) this year.
The Padres have dominated the season series with 112 hits and 77 runs while taking nine of the first 12 matchups, including all five at home. In two of their wins, they scored a season-best 14 runs, and Kennedy was the beneficiary in a 14-3 home win May 1.
San Diego, however, also failed to support Kennedy in a 5-0 loss at Coors Field on Aug. 16 in which he allowed four runs – one earned – and fanned eight in 6 2-3 innings.
The Rockies have dropped four of seven after splitting a four-game weekend series against San Francisco to close a 4-4 homestand. They now hit the road for a 10-game trip looking to win back-to-back away games for only the second time since the end of May.
Kyle Kendrick (4-12, 6.29 ERA) may not be the best arm to get them there despite tossing four solid innings in his first start in a month his last time out. Kendrick gave up one run and three hits in a 5-3 loss to Arizona on Tuesday after spending time on the disabled list for shoulder inflammation in his pitching arm.
The right-hander is 0-1 with a 7.50 ERA in two starts against the Padres this year.
Rockies slugger Nolan Arenado, who is tied for the NL lead with 36 homers, had his home run streak snapped at a team-record six games in Sunday’s 7-4 loss to the Giants.
“It was a pretty cool streak. It’s hard to think about it because I never thought about it at the plate,” he told MLB’s official website. “When I was hitting the homers, it never crossed my mind.”