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Kennedy wins 19th, D-Backs extend lead to 7 1/2

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PHOENIX -- Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Ian Kennedy doesn't view a 20-win season as an attainable goal even as he's on the doorstep.

Kennedy struck out a season-high 11 in seven-plus innings for his National League-leading 19th victory as the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the San Diego Padres 4-1 on Thursday night.

"When you're a little kid, 20 wins is what the best guys do," Kennedy said. "When you grow up and learn how hard it is, it's not a realistic goal."

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Kennedy (19-4) scattered seven hits and did not walk a batter over 7 2/3 innings. The right-hander joined Detroit's Justin Verlander and New York Yankees ace CC Sabathia as the majors' only 19-game winners.

"I keep saying good bullpen and timely hitting and that's the truth," said Kennedy, who entered the season with a 9-10 career mark. "You saw last year how [games] can get out of hand sometimes and that's what makes the difference between a no decision and a win."

Kennedy faced only two batters over the minimum in his first seven innings before tiring and allowing a run on three hits in the eighth. J.J. Putz pitched the ninth for his 38th save.

"He was exceptional," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "He's got pinpoint control, he has various pitches that he goes to and he limits his mistakes."

Justin Upton hit his career-best 29th home run for the Diamondbacks, who won for the 14th time in 16 games to open a 7½-game lead over San Francisco in the NL West. Arizona's magic number to clinch its first division title since 2007 dropped to 12.

Upton left the game in the seventh with a cold he caught during the Diamondbacks' recent series in Colorado.

"I hate playing there," Upton said with a chuckle. "It always takes something out of you."

Cory Luebke (5-9) allowed two runs and three hits over 5 2/3 innings. He walked four and struck out nine.

"Any time you are in a pitchers' duel like that, one or two pitches can cost you," Padres manager Bud Black said. "That was the case with tonight's game but Cory stayed with him. We were close enough but he just couldn't bunch enough hits together or get the big ball in the gap to get us closer."

Paul Goldschmidt gave the Diamondbacks a 1-0 lead in the fourth with a one-out, line-drive home run that landed in the first row of the left-field bleachers. Upton made it 2-0 in the sixth, hitting Luebke's first pitch deep into the left-field stands.

"I was making sure I didn't have to sprint anywhere," Upton said.

Luebke has allowed 11 home runs this season -- seven to the Diamondbacks and three to Upton alone.

"He's got me right now but I'll figure him out eventually," Luebke said. "He's not going anywhere."

Arizona made it 4-0 in the seventh off Brad Brach. Brach hit Kennedy in the jersey with a pitch with one out, Willie Bloomquist singled and Aaron Hill hit an apparent double-play grounder to short. But Orlando Hudson's relay throw went well wide of the first-base bag, allowing Kennedy to score.

Montero followed with an RBI single off Joe Thatcher to bring home Hill.

Jeremy Hermida drove in Nick Hundley with an RBI single to left in the eighth for the Padres' lone run.

Notes

  • Padres INF Logan Forsythe underwent arthroscopic surgery Thursday to debride his left knee. Forsythe will begin rehab immediately and should be ready for full activity in spring training.
  • Arizona has won 13 straight at home, the second-best streak in the majors this season. Cleveland won 14 straight from April 3 to May 10.
  • Kennedy is 5-0 in seven career starts against the Padres. He has won four consecutive starts and 10 of 12.
  • San Diego has lost seven of its past eight against Arizona.
  • Luebke's nine strikeouts matched a career high set Aug. 6 at Pittsburgh.
  • Montero extended his hitting streak to 16 games.
  • RHP Mat Latos will start for the Padres on Friday. He will be opposed by RHP Daniel Hudson, who is 15-5 with a 3.18 ERA in his last 25 starts.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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With their 13th consecutive home victory, the Diamondbacks are closing in on their first division championship since 2007.  (Getty Images)
With their 13th consecutive home victory, the Diamondbacks are closing in on their first division championship since 2007. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Arizona

P. Goldschmidt
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
Arizona

I. Kennedy
IP 7.2
H 7
ER 1
BB 0
K 11
 

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San Diego Padres
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Will Venable, LF4011021 .253
Jason Bartlett, SS4010022 .250
Cameron Maybin, CF4020011 .276
Kyle Blanks, 1B4000013 .230
Orlando Hudson, 2B4000001 .241
Nick Hundley, C4120011 .275
Jeremy Hermida, RF3010021 .152
Andy Parrino, 3B3000033 .217
Cory Luebke, P2010010 .179
    Brad Brach, P0000000 .000
    Joe Thatcher, P0000000 .000
    Andrew Carpenter, P0000000 .000
   a- Jesus Guzman, PH1000002 .325
    Ernesto Frieri, P0000000 .000
Totals33181013  
a-flied out for Carpenter in the 8th
Batting
2B - Jason Bartlett (20, Kennedy)
RBI - Will Venable (37)
2-OUT RBI - Will Venable (15)
SB - Cameron Maybin (35, 2nd base off Putz/Montero)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
E - Orlando Hudson (3, Throwing)
San Diego Padres
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Cory Luebke (L,5-9) 5.2322492 3.28
Brad Brach 1122110 4.91
Joe Thatcher0100000 6.75
Andrew Carpenter 0.1100000 6.75
Ernesto Frieri 1000100 3.02
IBB - Cowgill by Cory Luebke, Upton by Brad Brach
HBP - Kennedy (by Brad Brach)
Pitches-Strikes - Cory Luebke 104-62, Brad Brach 17-10, Joe Thatcher 4-2, Andrew Carpenter 6-3, Ernesto Frieri 17-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Cory Luebke 3-5, Brad Brach 1-1
Batters Faced - Cory Luebke 24, Brad Brach 6, Joe Thatcher 1, Andrew Carpenter 1, Ernesto Frieri 4
Arizona Diamondbacks
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Willie Bloomquist, SS3010110 .271
Aaron Hill, 2B4110011 .243
Justin Upton, RF3111111 .299
    Gerardo Parra, PR-RF0000000 .295
Miguel Montero, C4011011 .277
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B4121022 .257
Ryan Roberts, 3B1000300 .256
Chris Young, CF4000003 .225
Collin Cowgill, LF3000121 .216
Ian Kennedy, P2100022 .111
    Brad Ziegler, P0000000 .000
   a- Sean Burroughs, PH1000001 .270
    J.J. Putz, P0000000 .000
Totals29463610  
a-flied out for Ziegler in the 8th
Batting
HR - Justin Upton (29, Luebke), Paul Goldschmidt (7, Luebke)
RBI - Justin Upton (84), Miguel Montero (77), Paul Goldschmidt (20)
2-OUT RBI - Miguel Montero (27)
SB - Willie Bloomquist (16, 2nd base off Luebke/Hundley), Ryan Roberts 2 (18, 2nd base off Luebke/Hundley, 2nd base off Frieri/Hundley)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Hill-Bloomquist-Goldschmidt, Bloomquist-Hill-Goldschmidt
Arizona Diamondbacks
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Ian Kennedy (W,19-4) 7.27110110 2.90
Brad Ziegler (H,10) 0.1000000 2.26
J.J. Putz (S,38) 1100020 2.45
Pitches-Strikes - Ian Kennedy 101-74, Brad Ziegler 1-1, J.J. Putz 17-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ian Kennedy 5-5, Brad Ziegler 1-0, J.J. Putz 1-0
Batters Faced - Ian Kennedy 28, Brad Ziegler 1, J.J. Putz 4
Game Information
Attendance - 21402
Game Time - 2:40
Temperature - 79
Umpires - Home - Jim Reynolds, First Base - Andy Fletcher, Second Base - Tim Welke, Third Base - Tim Tschida