PHOENIX — Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Ian Kennedy gave a dominating performance in grabbing his 20th win of the season.
Pitching eight innings and giving up only one hit — to Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Jeff Karstens –, Kennedy became the National League’s first 20-game winner this season.
“It was a fastball right down the middle, I’m going to send him a text message later on,” Kennedy said with a smirk. “He throws a sinker down and in [that] hurts my ankle and then he gets a base hit the next half inning. That’s not very nice.”
Karstens wouldn’t score.
The D-backs won the game 1-0 with a broken bat solo home run by Justin Upton.
“This is the most important part, which is winning games, taking away that magic number and clinching here pretty soon,” Kennedy said after the game.
Kennedy joins Detroit Tiger Justin Verlander as the only 20-game winners in the Major Leagues.
In the win Kennedy struck out 12 Pirate hitters, matching his career high.
“We had a nice little ceremony in [the clubhouse] for Ian,” manager Kirk Gibson said. “It was well deserved, it’s what this team needed.”
The team gave the pitcher a standing ovation when he walked in after the game. Kennedy was a bit taken aback by the situation.
“It was awesome. I got a little choked up because it means a lot to me. I’ve had a lot of fun this year. For them to be as happy as they were, it’s something you can’t describe. I’m so happy to have great teammates like that.”