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09/02 Padres Preview: Game 137 vs. San Francisco

Padres Pit Kennedy Against Zito on This Labor Day

Denis Poroy

After a tough road trip against some NL West opponents, the Padres will start off their homestand with another division rival. The Giants make the trip down the California coast for a three-game set at Petco Park and it is a battle of the bottom two teams in the division.

San Diego will send Ian Kennedy to the hill in today's Labor Day matchup. Kennedy didn't perform as hoped his last time out when he faced the Diamondbacks for the first time since they traded him to the Padres. He gave up six runs while walking five in 4 1/3 innings. Since joining the team, the right-hander has gone 2-1 with a 4.55 ERA. Hopefully a return to San Diego to face a team against whom he's been successful in the past will help him bounce back from his disappointing Arizona outing. He is 5-2 with a 2.72 ERA in nine career starts at Petco Park. And in 16 career starts against the Giants, he is 6-3 with a 2.54 ERA. His most recent appearance against them was on July 19th before his trade to the Padres. He was tagged with a loss, but was able to keep San Francisco to two runs in six innings of work.

While Kennedy is trying to make a new start in San Diego after a disappointing year-and-a-half following his stellar 2011 season in Arizona, Giants starter Barry Zito is just trying end what could be his final season with San Francisco on a high note. Zito's seven-year contract with the club will be coming to an end soon and he hasn't exactly lived up to the expectations set for him when the Giants signed him. He dominated in the playoffs at the end of 2012, going 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA in his three postseason starts. But his 2013 season has seen him go 4-10 with a 5.81 ERA. In his last five starts, he's 0-4 with an 11.21 ERA while pitching fewer than five innings in each. He has yet to get a winning decision this year on the road, where he is 0-8 with a 10.10 ERA in ten starts. He's pitched fewer than six innings in each of those road starts. The Padres have given him as much trouble as anyone both this season and throughout his career. He is a lifetime 5-10 with a 4.61 ERA against them, including four starts this year, over which he's gone 1-1 with a 3.44 ERA. Most recently was a 10-1 loss at Petco Park, where he was tagged for four runs (three on solo homers) in just two innings of work.

The Padres are hoping to be able to take advantage of Zito's unimpressive 2013 campaign and build on their past success against him. The team is coming off a sweep at the hands of the first-place Dodgers. Over the three-game set in L.A. the Padres offense combined for just four runs. In the final game of the series, they wasted a gem by starting pitcher Tyson Ross being held to just one run on three hits. Prior to that, they dropped their series to the Dbacks at Chase Field. The Giants however, are coming off a series win against those Dbacks, topped off by an 8-2 win in yesterday's series finale.

Tune in as these two teams kick off their series this afternoon at 12:40.