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Padres tag Ian Kennedy to kick off series against Pirates

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Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

After the off day yesterday, our Padres are ready to get back to baseball as they continue their road trip in Pittsburgh. The Pirates have kept themselves in the thick of the division race with some great pitching, but our boys will try to make things harder for them over this three-game set.

Ian Kennedy will get the party started this afternoon when he toes the rubber for the series opener. Just over two months ago he earned a victory over the Pirates, keeping them to two runs in six innings of work while fanning seven. Prior to that, he didn't have so much luck career-wise against Pittsburgh, especially at PNC Park, where he's 0-2 with a 12.91 ERA in his last two appearances. But the right-hander is undefeated (3-0) with a 2.43 ERA in his last six starts, keeping opponents to ten runs and a .195 batting average while collecting 39 strikeouts in that stretch.

On the hill for the Bucs will be Vance Worley, looking for his third consecutive winning decision. He didn't get the decision his last time out, despite only giving up one run  through six innings. He was brilliant in his previous outing, allowing only four hits and a walk en route to a shutout. He is 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA in his only two career starts against San Diego. He hasn't faced them since 2012, however, when he was a member of the Phillies staff.

This time around, Worley will be facing a Padres team that's won six of their last eight games while outscoring opponents 40-21. Wednesday marked their first road win in five tries, and they'll now try to get a road winning streak going while taking the first game at PNC Park.

Tune in at 4:05 this afternoon to see Kennedy can stay undefeated and the Padres can add to their recent hot stretch.

And don't forget to check out today's SB Nation Fantasy Baseball league on FanDuel. It's $2 to join and first prize is $2,000. There's also an MLB Squeeze (Late Night) league with a first prize of $1,200 if you miss the first one. You can join at this link.