Behind the strong pitching performance of Ian Kennedy the Arizona Diamondbacks defeated the San Diego Padres 6-1 in Phoenix on Sunday afternoon. Arizona completed the sweep of the Padres as they increased their lead in the NL West to a full four games over the San Francisco Giants with only 28 games left in the regular season. Kennedy improved his record to (17-4) and has the most wins in the National League.
As for the Padres, being swept is nothing new in the 2011. San Diego’s offense was on vacation this weekend as they have been most of the season. San Diego scored a grand total of two runs in the three game series – including being shut out on Friday night.
With temperatures over 100 degrees on Sunday afternoon in Phoenix the Padres actually took a brief lead in the second inning. Orlando Hudson got the scoring going for the Padres when he homered off Ian Kennedy. That early 1-0 lead would be all the offense San Diego could muster the rest of the game.
Arizona answered right back in the bottom of the second inning with a home run of their own to tie it up. Collin Cowgill got his first of his four hits on the day when he went deep off San Diego starter Corey Luebke. Cowgill’s hitting has improved lately after a visit to a sports psychologist, who has helped the rookie relax. This was Cowgill’s best game in the big leagues since being called up in July.
Arizona took the lead 3-1 in the third inning and never looked back. Newly acquired Aaron Hill blasted a two-run HR. Hill, acquired from Toronto on Tuesday drove in three runs on the day - which were the infielder’s first RBI with the Diamondbacks.
Arizona put the game out of reach scoring three runs in the eighth inning. Cowgill and Hill were again responsible putting the game on ice by each driving in one run. Arizona has now won its last six games and hopes to extend their winning streak when they host Colorado on Monday. San Diego will then start a series with the Dodgers in Los Angeles hoping to snap a four game losing streak.
San Diego now trails first place Arizona by fifteen games. While not mathematically eliminated the Padres can feel free to schedule tee times and vacation plans for October.
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Written by Kevin Kelly