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Kennedy, Arizona Start Series Off Right, Snag 5-2 Win To Near First Place

The Arizona Diamondbacks have had no shortage of struggles against the National League West-leading San Francisco Giants, having won just two of their nine games against them this season. But behind eight good innings from ace Ian Kennedy, the D-backs took the first game of an important late-season series with big playoff implications.

Things did not start out well, with Kennedy giving up a home run to Cody Ross to open the first inning. But Kennedy kept the Giants scoreless through the next six innings until Aubrey Huff added his own homer in the seventh. Kennedy stepped out to finish the eighth and got himself into a jam, with two men on before newly acquired Carlos Beltran grounded into a crucial double-play to end the inning and Kennedy’s night.

J.J. Putz came out to to snatch his twenty-fifth save, but not before giving up two straight hits with two outs and adding a little late-game drama.

Arizona managed five runs, all in the sixth inning, without any home runs or extra base hits. The inning featured single RBIs from Miguel Montero, Ryan Roberts, Gerardo Parra, and Willie Bloomquist. Giants pitcher Matt Cain, having an off-night, was chased out of the game midway through the sixth.

The win was Kennedy’s fifth straight, and he’s now tied for the NL lead in wins with Philadelphia Phillies ace Roy Halladay and Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. The loss is San Francisco’s fourth in a row and allowed the D-backs to get within a game of the division lead. The two teams face off on Tuesday evening with Daniel Hudson and Tim Lincecum on the mound.

For more D-backs coverage, check out SB Nation's blog, AZ Snakepit.