Kennedy pitches Padres past Rockies 6-1

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DENVER (AP) - With San Diego’s pitching staff on a roll, Ian Kennedy wasn’t about to break the momentum.

Kennedy pitched seven sharp innings, Rene Rivera hit a tiebreaking RBI double in the sixth and the Padres beat the Colorado Rockies 6-1 on Monday night in a game that included a 56-minute weather delay.

Chase Headley added four hits for San Diego, including a two-run triple in the seventh inning to break open a close game.

The outing by Kennedy extended a strong run by Padres starters, who have allowed only six runs over the last seven games to help San Diego win five of seven in that stretch.

“You talk about hitters getting momentum, pitching staffs can get momentum, too,” Padres manager Bud Black said. “Guys are aware of what’s going on and they’re watching other guys pitch and they can gain confidence from that and I think that’s what’s happening.”

Kennedy seemed to gain strength the deeper he got into the game, striking out five of the last six batters he faced before wind, rain and lightning forced the delay heading into the eighth inning. Kevin Quackenbush stepped in for Kennedy when play resumed.

“The last eight, nine games, we’ve thrown really well and you don’t want to be that guy to throw bad,” Kennedy said. “It’s a lot of fun when the other guys on your staff are throwing the ball well. You can feed off that.”

Kennedy (7-9) finished with nine strikeouts, boosting his team-leading total this season to 125. He allowed four hits in seven innings, including Drew Stubbs’ leadoff home run in the fourth.

The Padres improved to 28-4 this season when scoring four or more runs, the second-best mark in baseball behind Washington, which is 39-3 when scoring at least four times.

Slumping Colorado lost for the 18th time in the last 21 games. They’ve gone 1-4 midway through a 10-game homestand.

“We can’t afford to lose series,” said Rockies manager Walt Weiss, whose club lost three of four to the Los Angeles Dodgers to open the homestand. “We’re getting some (injured) guys back but bottom line is we have to start winning some series.”

The Rockies haven’t won a series since completing a sweep at San Francisco on June 15.

With the score tied at 1-1 in the sixth, Tommy Medica hit a one-out double and Rivera followed with a double to left. One out later, Cameron Maybin sent a drive to the warning track in left center that seemed to get caught in swirling winds and dropped just beyond the reach of Corey Dickerson’s glove as the Padres took a 3-1 lead.

San Diego added three runs in the seventh. Kennedy drew a leadoff walk and Chris Denorfia singled to chase Tyler Matzek (1-3). Headley, who changed his batting grip slightly a little over a week ago, greeted Matt Belisle with a triple off the right-field wall, scoring Kennedy and Denorfia. Carlos Quentin’s sacrifice fly put the Padres in front by five runs.

“I feel like it lets me be a little shorter to the ball, gives me a little more leverage,” Headley said of his revised grip.

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