Right-hander Ian Kennedy was not named the Diamondbacks' Opening Day starter until a month into spring training, but he has certainly looked the part, no more so than in his throw-back pitchers' duel with two-time San Francisco Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum on Tuesday.
Kennedy gave up four hits in eight scoreless innings -- as did Lincecum -- before the Giants got a run off the D-backs' bullpen for a 1-0 victory, their 10th victory in 13 one-run games this season.
"It's pretty frustrating as a team. It's tough to lose these types of games," said Kennedy, who while at USC faced Lincecum's Washington team several times in the Pacific-10 Conference. "It brings back old times when we went against each other in college. It's fun when every pitch means something."
Kennedy has given up six earned runs in his last 36 innings over six starts, dropping his season ERA to 3.23. His six quality starts rank behind only the total of the reigning NL Cy Young winner, Philadelphia's Roy Halladay, who has seven.
"He was a good pitcher for us last year, and it looks he's as good or better this year," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said of Kennedy. "He's competitive. He's resourceful. He knows how to use his pitches in given situations."
Kennedy has begun throwing a cut fastball with a little more frequency this season, and he mixed it into his fastball/changeup mix against the Giants while throwing a season-high 116 pitches.
"I threw it more than I have in the past, and it worked," Kennedy said of the cutter. "I was able to get ahead of guys. The changeup was probably as good as it has been in a while."
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