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Kennedy keeps Rockies thunder away; Padres win 6-1

Kennedy and Chase Headley would combine to win solidly in the series opener.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Through the first 3 innings, Ian Kennedy looked locked in. That should not come as much of a surprise to those that have followed Kennedy over the years. He has a career 2.88 ERA against the Rockies and a 3.56 ERA at Coors Field. He is practically a Coors Field specialist when you consider how many pitchers struggle at that park. Over those initial 3 frames Kennedy only gave up one hit (which was erased by a doubly play) and struck out 4. In the bottom of the 4th, after being staked to a 1-0 lead by a bases loaded Brooks Conrad sacrifice fly that scored Chase Headley, Kennedy gave up a Drew Stubbs solo shot on a liner to left to tie the game and be a tiny hiccup in what would still be an excellent performance.

From there the game proceeded to continue at a very un-Coors-Field-like pace. There were thunderstorms on the way (you could even see them flash beyond the CF wall on the telecast), but the air was dry and the temperatures high during the game so nothing should have been out of the ordinary. There were some minor threats in the 5th, but the next scoring did not come until the 6th and it went well for the Friars. Three doubles led to two more plated Padres. Tommy Medica doubled first then scored on Rene Rivera's two bagger. Rivera then came across when Cameron Maybin hit a 2 out ground rule double that the CF and RF misjudged.

If there was any worry that the Rockies would retaliate with runs of their own again, then it was erased once Kennedy whiffed all 3 batters, Stubbs, Morneau and and recently elected All Star starter Troy Tulowitzki, in the bottom of the 6th. The next inning began with the winds whipping harder and those flashes getting closer. Each inning the current lead got held seemed like it had the potential to seal the win if the rain began to pour and lightning began to strike. However, the Padres would do better than just hold the lead. A leadoff walk to the man fresh off fanning the side and a single by Chris Denorfia set up a Headley to drive in both on a triple off the top of the RF wall (that Dick Enberg called a home run, then a double). Headley would later score again on a sac fly, this time by Carlos Quentin. Headley would finish the night 4 for 5 with 3 singles, the triple, the 2 RBI and the 2 runs scored.

Kennedy would pick up right where he left off. The first two batters he faced in the 7th went down on strikes. The third batter would finally put a ball in play, but was out nonetheless. Kennedy looked firmly locked in again. However, his night would come to an end as the rain came in. The tarp came onto the field and the Padres were in the drivers seat for either a rain out win or to have the bullpen hold a 6-1 lead after a delay. As it would turn out the rain resulted in a 1 hour delay. The Padres would come back with Kevin Quackenbush and Tim Stauffer to hold the Rockies to a solitary run and give the Friars a series opening victory.

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