San Diego acquired Ian Kennedy in a trade deadline deal that sent relievers Joe Thatcher and Matt Stites to the Diamondbacks. Today he'll make his Padres debut against the team who drafted him seven years ago as he takes on the Yankees for the first time in his career.
Kennedy went 3-8 with a 5.23 ERA in 21 starts as a Diamondback this season. But perhaps a change of venue will help him turn his season around. The righty is a lifetime 3-1 in six starts at his new home, Petco Park. His addition to the rotation will hopefully bolster the team's starting ERA, which ranks 14th (or 3rd worst) in the National League.
After putting up seven runs in a strong win over New York in the series opener on Friday, the Padres were held scoreless last night. The loss put them at 5-2 over their last seven games. They'll look to bounce back today in the rubber game against the Yankees and take their fourth straight series. The hot-hitting Yonder Alonso extended his hitting streak to seven last night with a single in the first inning. He is 12-for-27 in that seven-game span with 5 RBI. Since the All-Star Break, Alonso has a .404 AVG (third best in the league) and a .475 OBP (second best in the league).
The Yankees will have to do without Derek Jeter once again today. The shortstop played in the series opener, but sat out last night with a sore right leg, which will keep him out of today's lineup as well. He'll still be available as a pinch-hitter, but his leg will keep him from playing defense. New York hopes to get another good game out of Curtis Granderson, who returned from the DL in time to start this series. Last night he hit a two-run homer that ended Tyson Ross' shutout.
Starting on the mound for New York today will be Phil Hughes who, like Kennedy, is facing his opponent for the first time. Also like Kennedy, Hughes hasn't had the best season so far, going 4-9 with a 4.58 ERA for the Yankees. He's coming off one of his shorter appearances this year, a four-inning start in which he gave up five runs to the Rays. It was the second time in his last three outings he allowed at least four runs to cross the plate.
The series finale is set for 1:10 this afternoon.