Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - Ian Kennedy threw seven outstanding innings and the San Diego Padres' struggling offense finally broke through in a 4-2 decision over the Washington Nationals that wrapped up a four-game set.
After managing only one run in dropping the previous two meetings, the Padres scored three times off Ross Detwiler between the fifth and sixth innings en route to earning a series split. Chris Denorfia knocked in a pair of runs while going 2-for-3, with Cameron Maybin adding two hits while scoring once in his first game back from the disabled list.
Still, the star of the day was Kennedy (2-3), who set down 20-of-22 hitters after surrendering first-inning doubles to Anthony Rendon and Jayson Werth and racked up a season-best nine strikeouts while permitting just three hits.
"Overall, that was a perfect pitching performance," Denorfia remarked.
Joaquin Benoit allowed a leadoff homer to Nate McLouth in the eighth that brought Washington within 4-2, but combined with Huston Street to limit the Nationals to one hit the rest of the way.
Detwiler (0-1) was tagged for four hits and walked one in 1 1/3 innings in relief of Taylor Jordan, who held San Diego to a run on three hits before being lifted after four frames due to an illness he was battling.
"I couldn't throw a strike," Detwiler said. "You have make an adjustment. I didn't. Pretty much cost us the game. I felt fine in the bullpen. It just didn't translate over to the game."
Kennedy hit Danny Espinosa in the right knee with a pitch to begin the bottom of the second with Washington up 1-0, then proceeded to retire the next 16 batters before Ian Desmond singled and was ultimately left stranded in the seventh.
"He made it easy for us out there," said Maybin.
McLouth, mired in a 3-of-33 slump to begin the season, belted Benoit's third pitch into the home bullpen to give Washington some brief life. However, the Nationals' next three hitters failed to reach and Werth's leadoff single off Street in the home ninth went for naught.
Jordan was sharp as well early on, yielding just two hits over his first three innings of work. He walked Denorfia to begin the fourth, however, and Yasmani Grandal followed with a double off the scoreboard in right center before Jedd Gyorko's sacrifice fly tied the game at 1-1.
Detwiler came on to open the fifth and recorded two quick outs, but Everth Cabrera kept the inning alive with a base hit, then stole second and was advanced to third on a wild pitch in front of Denorfia's tie-breaking single to center.
San Diego increased its lead an inning later, loading the bases on singles by Will Venable, Maybin and Nick Hundley prior to Nationals reliever Aaron Barrett walking Cabrera and Denorfia in succession to force in two more runs.