WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 27: Ian Kennedy #22 of the San Diego Padres pitches in the sixth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on April 27, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
In Washington, D.C. the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is about a 10-minute drive from Nationals Park, which is quite convenient. On Saturday, at that baseball stadium, Padres starter Ian Kennedy put on an artful performance.
In his best start as a Padre, Kennedy looked like the guy who won 21 games for the Diamondbacks in 2011 in San Diego's 4-2 win. He gave up a run on a couple of doubles in the first inning, then went in to full lock down mode.
At one point Ian retired 16 straight batters, finishing with nine strikeouts and that one run allowed in 7.0 innings of work. He was helped out by a tremendous diving catch in right field by Will Venable, who robbed Jayson Werth of extra bases in the 6th inning.
And, finally, the offense did just barely enough to give their guy a win.
Jedd Gyorko tied the game with a sacrifice fly to score Chris Denorfia in the 4th inning. Denorfia, the early-season favorite for team MVP, did just about everything on Sunday.
In the 5th inning, Deno singled to centerfield to bring home Everth Cabrera and give the Padres a 2-1 lead. Denorfia had two hits, raising his average to .338, good enough for 8th-best in the National League.
In the 6th inning, the Padres scored again with some help from the Nationals' bullpen. Will Venable and Cameron Maybin singled off Ross Detwiler. Maybin made his 2014 MLB debut after a rehabilitation stint in El Paso and had a pair of hits.
Aaron Barrett relieved Detwiler and gave up a pinch-hit single to Nick Hundley to load the bases. Barrett struck out Kennedy, then forgot where the strike zone is.
He walked Everth Cabrera (who had only walked twice all season) on four pitches to bring home Venable, then walked Denorfia to let Maybin score.
The Padres split the 4-games series despite being outscored 20 to 9. On Monday they start a 3-game series in San Francisco against the Division-leading Giants.