Ian Kennedy looked a lot like his old self on Thursday. Kennedy, who has gone 2-0 with a 2.62 ERA in his last four starts, looked a lot like the steadfast and reliable veteran that many had pegged him to be after throwing six innings of one-run baseball en route to a 3-1 Padres victory in Oakland. Kennedy was sharp and just what the doctor ordered, as he surrendered only one earned run on four hits while securing a series split on the road and putting a stop to the Padres' four-game losing streak. The offensive support Kennedy received was on point as well, as the Friars enjoyed another multihomer game. Whereas two solo shots on Wednesday wasn't enough, the two homers today proved to be the difference makers that sent the Friars on a "Happy Flight" out of the Bay Area.
The Padres struck first on a Matt Kemp solo shot in the fourth inning that gave the Friars an early 1-0 lead after sharp pitching kept San Diego hitless through the first three frames. Kemp's homer was one of two hits on the day, as he and Will Venable each enjoyed multihit games against Oakland. Later on in the sixth inning, former A's catcher Derek Norris, who was making his season debut at first base for the Friars on Thursday, also left the yard with a solo shot of his own to put the Padres up 2-0. The A's were able to get one run back in the bottom half of that same frame, but the Upton brothers made sure to produce an insurance run in the eighth inning. Melvin Upton Jr. led off the eighth with a triple and later scored after his younger brother, Justin Upton, hit a high fly ball into the right-field foul territory giving the elder Upton a chance to tag up.
With a two-run lead in the home half of the ninth, the Padres then sent closer Craig Kimbrel to the mound to shut the door and secure the victory with his 17th save of the year. With Thursday's victory, the Padres secured a series-split in their first two-game set on the road and were able to catch a happy flight out to Phoenix to continue their nine-day road-trip against the Diamondbacks on Friday.
In case you missed it, here are some highlights and stories you may not have seen from Thursday: