Kennedy won't let bad inning impede progress

Padres starter brushes off blip in otherwise strong month

Kennedy won't let bad inning impede progress

SAN FRANCISCO -- One misguided pitch, leading to a grand slam by the Giants' Buster Posey in the third inning Wednesday, might have ruined Ian Kennedy's night.

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Kennedy allowed six runs in six innings, though just one was earned, in the Padres' 6-0 loss at AT&T Park.

But the Padres' starting pitcher wasn't about it let it ruin his month, or the progress that he's made since a slow start to the season.

It was Posey's grand slam, his second in five days, that sidetracked Kennedy (4-6), who allowed five hits with four walks, two in that fitful third inning.

"I feel like even up to that, I was making good pitches. My fastball command was good. But that's a big blow for us [Posey grand slam]," Kennedy said. "That put our offense in a big hole and you can't really do that."

Kennedy knows all about trying to climb out of a deep hole, since that's what he's essentially been doing since his first start of the season in April.

After a disastrous April, when he landed on the disabled list with a hamstring strain in his first start against these Giants, Kennedy has progressively improved.

His April ERA was 10.80. In May it was 6.40. After his start Wednesday and the six runs, but just one earned, Kennedy has a 2.40 ERA for five starts in June.

"My fastball command has been a lot better. Early on [in the season], it was hit-or-miss. One start I would have good command, the next it would run back over the plate and I would give up home runs, a lot mistakes," he said.

"The fastball command allows me to throw my offspeed stuff more in hitters count. And this month I've been better with the fastball."

San Diego interim manager Pat Murphy, who has now seen two of Kennedy's starts, was left encouraged by what he saw from the right-hander.

"I thought Ian threw the ball well," Murphy said. "[The] mistake to Posey, a changeup was over the middle of the plate and probably better to go breaking ball there. But if he executed better, we're not even talking about it."

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.