Padres scuffle against Kennedy, lose 3-1

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By Natalie Rivers By Natalie Rivers

SAN DIEGO (AP) The San Diego Padres had three straight hits in the first inning to take a 1-0 lead against Ian Kennedy and the Arizona Diamondbacks.

That was pretty much the extent of their offense for the night.

Kennedy struck out nine in six innings to remain perfect for his career against San Diego, and Jason Kubel doubled in the go-ahead run in the sixth inning to send the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 3-1 victory over the Padres on Thursday night.

"Hit three balls on the nose and we couldn't sustain it," manager Bud Black said. "Kennedy got back on the right track and we couldn't mount anything. He had the fastball location working, he started making mixing his curveball and changeup a little bit more and had us off-balance. That is his game. We couldn't solve him."

The Diamondbacks, who matched the 2000 club for the best six-game start at 5-1, took two of three from the Padres. Chris Young hit a solo homer with two outs in the eighth, his third.

Kennedy (2-0) allowed one run and five hits to improve to 6-0 against the Padres in eight career starts, with a 1.95 ERA, 68 strikeouts and nine walks in 50 2-3 innings. He is 8-0 in his last nine starts overall.

Kennedy gave up hits to his first three batters, including a leadoff triple to right-center by Cameron Maybin, who scored on Will Venable's single up the middle. Chase Headley singled before Kennedy struck out the side.

San Diego had only three more baserunners against Kennedy, who retired 12 straight batters from the second to the sixth inning.

"We need to keep going. It's not time to panic," said San Diego catcher Nick Hundley, who went 0 for 4 to extend his season-opening slump to 0 for 19 as the Padres lost for the fifth time in seven games. "Obviously, this was not the start guys envisioned. We have to suck it up and keep going."

Said Black: "As a group, we're not hitting. We have to pick it up. Statistically, it will improve. We have to do a better job. Our offense has to come from everyone We don't have one guy who can carry the club. Right now it's not happening, but it will."

J.J. Putz pitched a perfect ninth for his fourth save in four chances.

Micah Owings (0-2), signed as a free agent from the Diamondbacks in the offseason, took the loss after allowing an unearned run in the sixth. Willie Bloomquist reached on shortstop Jason Bartlett's throwing error and scored on Kubel's double down the right-field line. It was San Diego's 10th error in seven games.

The Diamondbacks loaded the bases on Lyle Overbay's two-out walk against Luke Gregerson before Geoff Blum hit into a force play.

Padres starter Anthony Bass was pulled after allowing Aaron Hill's RBI single with one out in the fifth. Bass was starting in place of Dustin Moseley, who went on the disabled list Sunday with extensive damage in his right shoulder.

Bass allowed one run and three hits, struck out five and walked two.