SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Ian Kennedy even shaved his beard during the All-Star break to try to change things up, ridding himself of facial hair for the first time in more than two years. Since his daughter was born in late April 2011, to be exact.
Yet Kennedy is still searching for answers and making adjustments after losing his third straight start, outpitched by Chad Gaudin in the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks' 2-0 loss to the Giants on Friday night.
Kennedy (3-7) was denied career victory No. 50 in his eighth try as his winless stretch reached eight starts since he beat the Cubs on June 1 in Chicago.
"You just try to be positive. Like, 'Just get that out of the way,'" Kennedy said. "Just keep going out there, grind away, find adjustments to do. That's what I really tried to do."
The right-hander said he had a professional barber give him the beard shave Monday.
But Arizona lost its sixth straight second-half opener, stumbling against Gaudin and five relievers.
"We had no offense going on at all tonight. They just shut us down," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said.
Gaudin, who might just be pitching himself right into a permanent spot in the San Francisco starting rotation, struck out eight in seven scoreless innings.
"It's huge," Gaudin said. "Any win in our division is huge."
All-Star Buster Posey hit an RBI double, Hunter Pence added a run-scoring single as San Francisco started a key series to open the second half by pulling within 5 1/2 games of the D-backs in the NL West race.
Kennedy settled in after he gave up two runs in the first and that was all the Giants needed on a quiet day by Arizona's hitters. Kennedy allowed two runs on five hits in six innings, struck out three and walked three.
"He came out trying to establish his fastball and they came out very aggressive," Gibson said. "They got some hits on him and got two runs out of it. He made some pitches and got out of it after that. He got his arm up and was hitting his spots and just started throwing all of his pitches."
Kennedy had been 3-1 with his eight previous starts at AT&T Park, and was riding a five-game winning streak against the Giants over his previous 10 starts in the rivalry.
"I wasn't throwing extremely hard, my stuff wasn't as great but I got through what I needed to do and handed it over to the bullpen," he said. "You try to knock that rust off early. I know last year we went through that. We wanted to come out and have more energy."
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