SAN DIEGO (AP) — A 21-game winner only two years ago, Ian Kennedy is starting to look more like his old self. That's he doing it in San Diego has been a plus for the Padres.
"Maybe I just needed a little change of scenery," said Kennedy, acquired in a trade from Arizona on July 31. "The coaching staff, the players, everyone has just made it really easy on me to feel comfortable."
Kennedy beat an NL West opponent for the first time in 12 starts this season, pitching the Padres past the San Francisco Giants 4-1 Monday.
Kennedy (6-9) gave up one run and five hits over six innings while striking out seven. He is 3-1 with a 4.04 ERA since arriving in San Diego.
The right-hander improved to 1-5 with a 4.97 ERA in his starts against NL West teams this year.
Huston Street worked a spotless ninth to earn his 26th save in 27 chances as the Padres snapped a three-game losing streak.
"I felt like I could throw my fastball when I wanted to and when you work off that, that is how you have successful games," Kennedy said.
Padres manager Bud Black noted that Kennedy's strikes seldom got too much of the plate.
"He got some fastballs in good spots and that was the key in a couple of big situations," Black said. "He had the fastball at the top of the zone and the fastball into the lefties, and the fastball away from them, too. His fastball was around the zone and that was what he had going today."
"The changeup and curveball came into play, but not as much as we've seen him use it in other games. When he needed to throw a strike he did. When he needed an out, he got one."
Barry Zito (4-11) lost his eighth straight decision. He has won only once in his last 20 starts.
Zito was pulled after four innings, allowing four earned runs on four hits and three walks. He fell to 0-9 with a 10.00 ERA in his last 11 starts away from AT&T Park.
"It's hard to narrow it down to one thing," Zito said of his road woes. "Normally the splits aren't really that bad in one direction."
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