Arizona Diamondbacks ace Ian Kennedy lasted eight innings at a time in which the team's bullpen severely needed a rest. Though one run was scored on his watch, it was unearned and he allowed only four hits while striking out ten. It was a great performance in what is shaping up to be a great year for Kennedy. He left after the eighth with the Snakes up 2-1 over the San Francisco Giants. But he did not get the win.
Former Super Closer J.J. Putz blew his third save in his last five appearances, thanks to a bobbled foul ball catch from Miguel Montero, whose throwing error earlier in the game led to the Giants' previous run. Montero did have another hit on Thursday evening, but his mental mistakes have cost the team lately.
Putz managed to get things under control, keeping the Giants from taking the lead, stranding a man on base. David Hernandez, making a relief appearance for the third straight day, kept San Francisco off the scoreboard in the top of the tenth to allow for a walk-off home run from Justin Upton, the first of his career -- as well as the first homer given up by SF reliever Santiago Casilla this season.
Chris Young's two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth inning kicked things off for Arizona, who took a 2-0 lead on a night when Kennedy seemed infallible. But after the late-game drama, the D-backs finally came out on the right side of another one-run game against their division rivals.
The narrow, and heart-wrenching, victory blocked a second straight three-game sweep at the hands of the Giants and pulled the D-backs back to within one-and-a-half games of the NL West lead. Had they lost, the three-and-a-half game lead the Giants would have secured would seem insurmountable given Arizona's somewhat precarious success. With the bullpen's performance in a dip and a recent run of sub-par starting pitching, it will be very important for the team to stay within striking distance of San Francisco.