With their ace on the mound, the Arizona Diamondbacks looked to be in prime position to take the rubber match of their three-game series with the San Diego Padres.
But as has been the case since Opening Day, Ian Kennedy has struggled an inning here or an inning there, and ultimately it’s been enough to cost the D-backs.
Sunday, Kennedy got off to a shaky start, surrendering two runs on three hits and a walk in the first inning. While the former 20-game winner settled down and didn’t allow a hit for the next four innings, he once again fell victim to the big inning in the sixth.
With Arizona still down 2-1, the D-backs right-hander gave up back-to-back home runs to Jedd Gyorko and Will Venable, and the Padres went on to win with ease 5-1.
Kennedy is now winless in his last six starts.
Didi Gregorius returned from the seven-day disabled list Sunday and had two of Arizona’s four hits, including a home run in the third inning.
The D-backs shortstop has hit safely in all eight of his starts in 2013.
Arizona’s bullpen (Matt Reynolds, Josh Collmenter and David Hernandez) recorded seven outs without giving up a run Sunday.
Kennedy had two bad innings, but his offense didn’t exactly provide any semblance of support.
After Gregorius’ home run in the third inning, the D-backs loaded the bases but failed to push another run across on Padres starter Edison Volquez. Arizona recorded just one hit over the next 3 2/3 innings against Volquez.
With the loss, the D-backs moved to 4-11 in their last 15 games against the Padres.
Stat of the Game:
4: The D-backs’ four hits were their fewest since a 6-1 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on April 2.
• Matt Reynolds struck out the final batter of the sixth inning and has now been perfect in 12 straight appearances.
• Paul Goldschmidt stole his fifth base of the season Sunday and is tied for the team lead with A.J. Pollock.
• Eric Chavez’s seven-game hitting streak came to an end.
• Sunday’s loss was the D-backs first of the season in the daytime.
The D-backs continue their Southern California road swing Monday night at Dodgers Stadium. Right-hander Trevor Cahill (1-3, 2.84 ERA) will take the mound for Arizona. He’s coming off his best outing of the season, in which he allowed one earned run in eight-plus innings of work. Cahill will be opposed by Los Angeles left-hander Chris Capuano (0-1, 9.64). First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. and can be heard on Arizona Sports 620.