Kennedy strikes out 11, Solarte homers in Padres’ 3-1 win
SAN DIEGO (AP) If this was Ian Kennedy’s final start with the San Diego Padres, it was a good one.
Kennedy struck out 11 in six innings and Yangervis Solarte hit a two-run homer for the Padres, who beat Milwaukee 3-1 in their home finale on Thursday.
Kennedy (9-15) is eligible to become a free agent. He was stellar, allowing only one run and five hits in six innings, with no walks. His only mistake was allowing a leadoff homer in the sixth to pinch-hitter Shane Peterson.
While many people feel Kennedy will move on, he said his agent, Scott Boras, has a good relationship with Padres general manager A.J. Preller.
”Things happen for a reason and I’ll just try to go with it,” said Kennedy, who grew up in Huntington Beach and pitched at USC.
It sounds like Kennedy would like to stay.
”I don’t think there’s too many people who come here and say they don’t love it,” said Kennedy, obtained in a trade with Arizona on July 31, 2013. ”You come here and you can fall in love with the weather and you can fall in love with the city and what it brings. Growing up in Southern California, I’m real partial to it. I love playing here, I love pitching for the Padres fans.”
Kennedy said his fastball-changeup combination was working.
”He was great,” interim manager Pat Murphy said. ”He was focused, made big pitches at big times, didn’t let things affect him. Great temperament today, great tempo. Secondary stuff great. One of his best outings of the year, I thought. A club that’s playing loose, that’s had our number. I thought he did a great job, especially with runners in scoring position.”
San Diego, fourth in the NL West, avoided being swept by Milwaukee, which is fourth in the NL Central.
The Padres underachieved this year, extending their postseason drought to nine seasons despite a roster overhaul that included adding stars such as Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Wil Myers, Derek Norris and James Shields. San Diego will finish with a losing record for the fifth straight season.
Myers left the game with a sore left wrist. Before the game, the Padres said Upton has a strained neck. Although Upton hasn’t been ruled out for the season’s final series at the Los Angeles Dodgers, there’s no reason for him to play. Kemp won’t play again due to a strained right middle finger. He was hurt Tuesday night.
Myers said he’s day-to-day.
”I think this team that A.J. put together this offseason has a lot of potential,” Myers said. ”There were just a lot of parts that didn’t really come together like we thought with injuries and some ups and downs. But I think this team is extremely talented. I think we did underachieve as a team but I know that everybody here’s going to come back and work hard this offseason and make it work.”
Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his 39th save.
Solarte homered to right off Taylor Jungmann (9-8) in the third, his 14th. Cory Spangenberg was aboard on a leadoff walk.
Spangenberg hit an RBI single in the fourth.
Jungmann allowed three runs and four hits in three innings, walked four and struck out two.
”It was definitely a struggle today for Taylor,” manager Craig Counsell said. ”There wasn’t anything easy for him today. He couldn’t get any easy outs. He pitched well after the home run to those next three guys. But it was a struggle overall.”
Milwaukee’s Michael Reed was thrown out by rookie right fielder Travis Jankowski trying to score from second on Hernan Perez’s single to end the third.
Brewers: RHP Ariel Pena (2-0, 3.91 ERA) is scheduled to start the opener of the final home series against the Chicago Cubs, who counter with RHP Jake Arrieta (21-6, 1.82).
Padres: Casey Kelly (0-1, 9.00) is scheduled to make his second start of the season when San Diego opens its final three-game series against NL West champion Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium on Friday night.