Starter Ian Kennedy finished out the month of August with his third-straight quality start on Friday, surrendering only two earned runs on two hits and five walks, while also striking out seven Phillies. Unfortunately for Kennedy, who saw his ERA drop from 4.01 to 3.94 after 6 2/3 innings of work, his quality start would not be enough, as the Padres dropped the first of a three-game set by a score of 7-1 on Friday evening at Citizens Bank Park.
Kennedy was absolutely solid in Friday's pitcher's duel -- the Phillies broke open a 2-1 game in the eighth inning after Kennedy had departed -- and despite posting a 2.29 ERA in five starts over the month of August, Kennedy was served with his third loss of the month and 12th loss of the season. Kennedy required 118 pitches -- 71 of which were strikes.
The Padres' bullpen, on the other hand, struggled mightily, as Marc Rzepczynski and Odrisamer Despaigne combined for five earned runs on five hits in one inning of work in the eighth. Bud Norris posted one-third of an inning in relief, surrendering no runs and no hits on two pitches after inducing a groundout in the seventh.
For the second night in a row on the road, the Padres' offense struggled to make any noise against their opponents. The Swinging Friars were limited to just two hits on the day, including a Justin Upton home run in the fourth inning to give San Diego an early 1-0 lead. Upton's solo-shot marked his 23rd home run of the season and gave him his 71st RBI of 2015. Cory Spangenberg collected the only other Padres hit, an extra-base knock in the fifth inning, which marked his 10th double of the year.
Friday's game also featured a handful of defensive gems from the Padres, but those efforts would prove to not be enough. The Padres will try to get back on their feet Saturday, sending rookie Colin Rea to face Adam Morgan in the first road start of his young career at 4:05 p.m. PT.
In case you missed it, here's a look at some highlights and stories that may have passed you by on Friday: