The Padres couldn't get things going in the series opener last at Chase Field last night. Tonight they'll try to even up the series as former Diamondback Ian Kennedy takes the mound in his first start against Arizona since being traded to San Diego.
After having a career year in 2011 with the Diamondbacks, Ian Kennedy went 18-20 with a 4.47 ERA over the next year and a half before being dealt to the Padres last month. In his first four starts for San Diego, he's gone 2-1 with a 3.20 ERA. He's coming off the best of those four outings, a seven-inning shutout performance in which he collected eight strikeouts en route to a win over the Pirates.
Kennedy might need to pitch another shutout considering the Padres offense lately. They've scored a combined 18 runs over their last seven games and have failed to make timely hits, batting just .153 with runners in scoring position over that stretch. The struggles at the plate continued last night as they only strung together five singles (including one by Tyson Ross) and one run. Will Venable, however, continued to shine as he had a two-hit night against Dbacks pitching. This month he's batting .374 and has recorded a hit in 21 of 22 games. He hopes to continue the hot hitting tonight against a team he's been successful against this season. Venable is hitting .360 in 13 contests with Arizona this year. Tonight, though, the arm on the mound will be an unfamiliar one to him as he, and the rest of the Padres, face David Holmberg for the first time.
Holmberg will make his major league debut in a spot start for Trevor Cahill, who is unavailable after pitching the last four frames of Saturday's 18-inning marathon between the Dbacks and Phillies. The 22-year-old southpaw has been throwing the ball well for Double-A Mobile this season and is one of Arizona's top pitching prospects. He is 5-7 with a 2.66 ERA overall in Double-A this season, but has posted a 1.59 ERA over his last six starts.
Catch the action in game 2 at 6:40 tonight.