San Diego Padres' Yangervis Solarte is congratulated by Matt Kemp (27) after Solarte hit a two-run home run off Texas Rangers closer Shawn Tolleson during the ninth inning of an interleague baseball game Saturday, July 11, 2015, in Arlington, Texas. The Padres won 6-5.
Tim Hudson is returning from a stint on the disabled list, so it’s unlikely he will be able to give the San Francisco Giants the innings they need to rest an overworked bullpen.
Ian Kennedy has lost four straight starts for the San Diego Padres, beginning with a defeat to San Francisco.
These right-handers open a three-game series Monday night at Petco Park, with the Giants winners of six straight and the Padres winners of four in a row.
San Francisco (49-43) swept three-game series on both sides of the All-Star break, including a weekend series at Arizona in which Giants relievers allowed one run in 13 2-3 innings. The bullpen worked four scoreless innings in Sunday’s 2-1 victory.
"They all came in and got some big outs for us, the bullpen saved us," manager Bruce Bochy said. "That’s a great effort by them."
Hudson (5-7, 4.68 ERA) will pitch for the first time since allowing five runs over 6 2-3 innings as he suffered an 8-6 loss to Colorado on June 26. He has been out with a strained right shoulder.
This will be his first start since he turned 40 on Tuesday.
"We’ve stretched him out in the bullpen," Bochy told MLB’s official website. "He had ankle surgery not too long ago. Your body gets beat up playing this game."
Hudson pitched 6 1-3 innings in a 1-0, 12-inning victory at San Diego (43-49) on April 9. He’s 1-3 with a 3.08 ERA in six starts versus the Padres with the Giants.
Matt Kemp is 8 for 24 against Hudson, but Will Venable is 4 for 28. They are the only Padres to homer in this matchup.
The Giants are carrying 13 pitchers and will have to make a roster move to activate Hudson. Reliever Jeremy Affeldt is also due back in this series.
"We knew it was going to be crowded when we got to this point, but these moves have to be made," Bochy said.
Kennedy (4-9, 4.91) has posted a 3.38 ERA in his last four outings, allowing six homers in 21 1-3 innings in that span, but he has received one run of total support. He has given up 20 homers.
He’ll try to avoid his first five-start slide since May 3-25, 2012. Kennedy is 1-1 with a 1.17 ERA in three 2015 starts against the Giants, allowing six runs – one earned – over six innings in a 6-0 defeat June 24 that started his woes.
Buster Posey is a .400 hitter off Kennedy with a homer in 40 at-bats. Brandon Belt is 10 for 31 against him while Angel Pagan has struggled with a .171 average.
Posey is 13 for 25 in this win streak, Joe Panik is 11 for 26 with eight runs scored and Matt Duffy is 13 for 30.
San Diego took the first two games of a weekend home series with Colorado before Sunday’s game was postponed due to rain in the fifth inning. The statistics won’t count, though outfielder Justin Upton was removed early with a sore left oblique.
"I don’t anticipate DL, I really don’t," manager Pat Murphy said.
These NL West rivals have split 10 meetings. The Giants have dropped 12 of their last 17 at San Diego.