Headley 4-for-5 as Kennedy stifles Rox in opener

Padres starter throws seven innings of one-run ball, has support late

Headley 4-for-5 as Kennedy stifles Rox in opener

DENVER -- When scrutinizing Ian Kennedy's success thus far for the Padres, don't buy into the narrative that his resume has been largely built on strong outings at pitcher-friendly Petco Park.

Kennedy has actually had more success on the road than at home, which is why his outing Monday against the Rockies at Coors Field shouldn't be viewed with surprise or awe.

"I wish I could tell you why," Kennedy said, shrugging his shoulders.

Kennedy allowed one run over seven innings and struck out nine as the Padres topped the Rockies, 6-1, before a crowd of 26,782, many of whom sat through a 56-minute rain delay between the seventh and eighth innings.

By then, Kennedy's work was finished, as he allowed four hits, walked two and didn't find himself in too many jams -- which can easily happen in this ballpark.

"He's got a good head, and nothing seems to bother him," Padres manager Bud Black said.

That's not completely true. It was during his windup in the seventh inning when Kennedy noticed a bolt of lightning -- and it wasn't in the distance, either.

"I told myself that it was pretty close," he said.

The lone mistake Kennedy made, though, came in the fourth inning, when Drew Stubbs ran into a fastball, sending it into the seats in left field for his eighth home run of the season.

In nine road starts this season, Kennedy is 4-4 with a 3.49 ERA. His ERA in 10 starts at Petco Park is 3.92 and has a 3-5 record. Overall, he is 7-9 with a 3.71 ERA.

"Ian was good from his first pitch to his last pitch," Black said. "He threw his fastball with conviction. He had a good hook, a good little slider. But it all starts with the fastball. Four-seamers up, and he dotted some fastballs low."

The Padres (40-49) backed Kennedy with two runs in the sixth inning and three more in the seventh, as Chase Headley -- who had four hits -- drove in two runs in that seventh inning with a triple off of the right-field wall.

It was Headley's second four-hit game in his past four games.

"The last couple of weeks I've felt close to where I want to be," said Headley, who has raised his average 28 points to .229 since July 1. "It's been good the last few games to swing well. I feel like I've been able to control the barrel."

All told, five players drove in runs for the Padres. Rene Rivera had two hits, including a double in that sixth inning to drive in a run. Later that inning, Cameron Maybin had a ground-rule double to the deepest part of the ballpark, straightaway center field, to drive in Rivera.

Kennedy's counterpart, left-hander Tyler Matzek, limited the Padres to one run over the first five innings but faltered thereafter. All told, Matzek allowed five runs on eight hits in six-plus innings with four walks and four strikeouts.

The Rockies are now 37-53 and have fallen into last place in the NL West.

But the story was Kennedy, who said that although he tried to aim his curveball and changeup a little lower in the strike zone at Coors Field, he was not doing anything else differently to try to achieve success on the road.

"I've faced him in the past," Headley said of Kennedy, who won 21 games with the D-backs in 2011. "He looks back to the form I've seen in the past."

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