SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Padres pitcher looked familiar, producing an outing the Arizona Diamondbacks once saw on a regular basis.
“He was more like the way he (used to) pitch,” Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero said. “The last time I faced him, he was throwing too much secondary stuff and was falling behind in the count. Then, 3-0, 3-1, you just have to throw strikes.”
Kennedy (7-10) was on the mark Wednesday night, pitching the Padres past the Diamondbacks, 12-2.
He struck out seven and allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings while facing his ex-team for the second time since being acquired by the Padres on July 31. He had a no-decision in their previous encounter.
“He was aggressive with his fastball,” Montero added. “His command was pretty good. When his command is good and he is aggressive with his fastball, his secondary pitches are better. That’s what he did. It was one of those days it’s like the old Kennedy.”
The Diamondbacks peddled Kennedy to the Padres this summer, baffled with his inconsistent performances. But since landing in San Diego, Kennedy has found some velocity and control, going 4-2 with a 4.24 ERA in 10 starts.
Kennedy came to the Padres in exchange for pitchers Joe Thatcher and Matt Stites and a draft pick.
“He came out a little different,” Diamondbacks Manager Kirk Gibson said of Kennedy. “He threw a lot of fastballs early. He made some good pitches on the corners and he caught some guys off guard.”
The Padres were on to Arizona starter Randall Delgado (5-7). He lasted five inning after surrendering six runs and seven hits.
“He’s just got to make better pitches,” Gibson said.
The Padres hit three homers, four batters had at least two RBIs and four batters finished with multiple hits.
Jedd Gyorko continued his solid season, as his 21st home run placed him one ahead of the Atlanta Braves’ Evan Gattis for the major league lead among rookies. Chase Headley had three RBIs, with Gyorko and Chris Denorfia getting two each.
Gyorko’s two-run homer capped a four-run fifth that gave the Padres a 6-2 lead. Denorfia accounted for the other runs with a two-run single which scored Kennedy and Will Venable.
“I thought Randall made a couple of mistakes and he paid for it,” Montero said.
The Padres’ Tommy Medica homered in the fourth to tie the score 2-2. It was Medica’s third homer since being elevated from Double-A on Sept. 10.
Medica’s blast erased Kennedy’s mistake in the top of that inning, one that came without him delivering a pitch.
Paul Goldschmidt opened with a double and advanced to third on Martin Prado’s single. With runners at the corners, Kennedy stepped toward third on a pick-off attempt, but didn’t throw the ball. Goldschmidt scored on the balk for a 2-1 lead.
“I missed the sign,” Kennedy said.
The Diamondbacks had pulled even at 1 in the third when Delgado drove in Gerardo Parra with a single up the middle. Parra led off the inning with a double after Kennedy retired the first six batters.
Two doubles got the Padres a run in the first. Headley’s double off Parra’s glove in right-center chased home Denorfia, who was aboard after his one-out double.
Rene Rivera, Headley and Denorfia all had three hits for the Padres.
But what stood out to the Diamondbacks was Kennedy’s standout peformance.
“He made a lot of good pitches,” Montero said.
NOTES: Venable isn’t 100 percent with his abdominal strain, but he returned to the starting lineup. Venable, who has a team-high 22 HRs, missed two games. … SS Ronny Cedeno, who was beaned by a pitch from Heath Bell on Monday, remains out with a headache. … Goldschmidt extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a fourth-inning double. … Diamondbacks RHP Trevor Cahill (8-10) starts in Thursday’s series finale. He’s 5-0 with a 2.64 ERA since returning from a hip contusion on Aug. 17.