Ian Kennedy turned in a commanding start tonight, but that's only half the story. On most nights, Kennedy's line would have practically guaranteed a win. In 7 innings, the starter allowed just 1 run on 4 hits and 3 walks, while striking out 8. But tonight he was opposed by the equally stingy Greinke, who yielded a sole run on 4 hits and 2 walks in 8 innings. For the second night in a row, the southern California rivals made it a battle of the bullpens.
Kennedy's first few innings were stunning. He retired the side in the first on just 9 pitches. He followed that up by striking out the side on 10 pitches in the second. It took the Dodgers until the third inning to get their first baserunner. That was a walk drawn by Drew Butera, who never made it past first base. A couple of Padres made it past first in the bottom half of the third, though. Rene Rivera continued his hot hitting ways with a leadoff double down the third base line. None other than Ian Kennedy himself would hit another double to bring him around to score.
Even after the excitement of running the bases, Kennedy kept cruising. He didn't allow a hit until the fifth, a leadoff single to Carl Crawford. Kennedy continued unfazed, shutting down the next three batters to maintain his lead. The only run he allowed was a single mistake pitch to former Padre and man terminally devoid of personality Adrian Gonzalez. He hung a 2-1 fastball and Gonzalez drove it all the way into the right field stands. Shortly after that Yasiel Puig tried to do the same thing, but to center field. After making hard contact, the Cuban sensation flipped his bat and started his home run trot. Petco punished him for his hubris, stopping the ball at the warning track where Abraham Almonte was waiting for it.
Nick Vincent was the first to get the call after Kennedy left the game. He put away the first two batters easily, but got into trouble when he gave up back to back singles to Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig. With runners at the corners, he got Crawford to line out to Jedd Gyorko. The Padres did some threatening of their own in the bottom half of the eighth. Rivera hit another double to lead off the inning. Unfortunately, pinch runner Cameron Maybin was picked off immediately. The momentum kept going their way as they threatened again in the bottom of the ninth. Abraham Almonte led off with a single and moved into scoring position when Seth Smith drew a walk. Yasmani Grandal hit a hard line drive that would have been a game-winner had J.P. Howell not snagged it and doubled up Almonte at second.
There was some controversy in the top of the tenth courtesy of some truly miserable umpiring. With two outs and Kemp on second, Tim Stauffer had Puig pinned to a 2-2 count. Stauff made an [expletive] pitch and got a swing and a miss from Puig. Somehow, home plate umpire Todd Tichenor called it a ball. On appeal, so did first base ump Clint Fagan. Bud Black was livid, and his yelling to the attention of Fagan, who promptly ejected the Padres skipper. Stauffer just sucked it up and made another [expletive] pitch to get Puig to strike out again.
The team took that fire and ran with it. Will Venable hit a leadoff single and stole second. Rymer Liriano came into pinch hit, but struck out looking on a somewhat questionable call. Not that it mattered, Alexi Amarista hit a single into center field, sending Venable speeding home for the Padres' third walkoff in a row.
Eric Stults gets the mound in the series finale. Tune in for the sweep at 1:10 PM.
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