Padres nip Giants for fifth straight victory

Padres nip Giants for fifth straight victory

SAN DIEGO -- Matt Kemp hit a two-run home run Monday as the Padres extended their win streak to a season-best five games with a 4-2 victory over the Giants at Petco Park.

The Padres took advantage of command issues by Giants pitcher Tim Hudson, who walked four and allowed three runs over four-plus innings in his first start off the disabled list.

Gregor Blanco hit a home run off Padres pitcher Ian Kennedy, who allowed two runs with six strikeouts in six innings.

Getting hot? Kemp, who hit .213 from May 1 to June 30, looks like he's found a groove in the second half. His home run Monday gave him four extra-base hits in the Padres' first three games since the All-Star break. And that doesn't count the two doubles he had Sunday in a game that was washed away -- much like the statistics from it -- by the rain. He later added a single.

Murphy on win, Kemp's leadership

"He's the best player on the field," said Padres interim manager Pat Murphy. "He's really led us." More >

Still shaky: Relieving Hudson with the bases loaded and nobody out in the fifth inning, Yusmeiro Petit kept the Giants close by allowing just one run on Jedd Gyorko's sacrifice fly. Petit, who has been erratic lately, yielded another run in the sixth after Melvin Upton Jr. sliced a leadoff triple. The right-hander owns a 7.43 ERA in his last six games.

Hudson was nevertheless appreciative of Petit's work in the fifth: "Hats off to him, giving up only one of those runs."

Doubling up: Kennedy was teetering at times but he got a big strike-'em-out, throw-'em-out to end the sixth inning, as he struck out Blanco and catcher Derek Norris completed the double play by throwing out Brandon Crawford, who was trying to steal second base. Norris leads the big leagues in CCS (catcher caught stealing) with 26.

Norris completes double play

"Bearing down in that sixth inning ... that was a really big inning," Murphy said. "He went after them in that inning. That was impressive." More >

Slick defense: Shortstop Brandon Crawford's alertness helped the Giants deny the Padres a more fruitful sixth inning. Crawford cut off right fielder Hunter Pence's throw following Kemp's two-out single, which advanced Yangervis Solarte to third base. Crawford then whipped a throw to first base that retired Kemp, who strayed too far off the bag and was tagged out by Brandon Belt.

Giants nab Kemp off first

"He's an athlete," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Crawford, "and he has great game awareness."

"Grown-man territory in right-center." -- Kennedy on Kemp's 409-foot home run hit beyond the fence in right-center field.

Kemp's two-run homer

Kemp has had his struggles this season with the Padres, but he's made many of his RBIs really count. With his home run Monday, Kemp now has 24 go-ahead RBIs this season, which is the highest total in Major League Baseball.

Kennedy has seen a lot of the Giants in 2015 and that's probably fine by him. After Monday's outing, he's 2-1 with a 1.69 ERA in four starts against San Francisco this season, with 19 strikeouts in 21 1/3 innings.

Kennedy goes six, gets the win

Giants: Performing in a renowned pitchers' park, Chris Heston will attempt to extend his streak of allowing three runs or fewer to eight consecutive starts when he faces San Diego on Tuesday beginning at 7:10 p.m. PT. However, he has compiled a 5.63 ERA in three career starts against the Padres.

Padres: Odrisamer Despaigne (3-6, 4.64) gets the start Tuesday in the second game of the three-game series at 7:10 p.m. PT. Despaigne has allowed three earned runs against the Giants in 29 2/3 career innings dating back to last season.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast. Chris Haft is a reporter for Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.