ICYMI: Kennedy, Solarte power final win at home
When the 2,459,742nd fan of the season stepped through the gates of Petco Park on Thursday, they probably walked into the ballpark hoping to see the Padres win their final home game of the 2015 season. Well, they were treated to just that on Thursday evening as the Padres defeated the Brewers, 3-1, in the last game of 2015 in downtown San Diego. Although the Padres will finish out the rest of their season just up the freeway at Dodger Stadium, the Swinging Friars closed their home schedule on a high note in front of a crowd of 22,129.
Starter Ian Kennedy provided one of his finer starts of the year, as he gave up one earned run on five hits over six innings of work. He also recorded 11 strikeouts on the night, falling one K shy of his career-best 12. Kennedy did not issue a walk. The right-hander tossed 102 pitches in a strong outing that snapped the Padres' three-game losing streak. The win marked Kennedy's first victory since Aug. 22, as he improved 9-15 with a 4.28 ERA on the season.
For the seventh game in a row, the Padres' bullpen delivered a combined shutout, as San Diego needed just three relievers to get the job done after Kennedy's departure. The reliable 7-8-9 combo of Shawn Kelley, Joaquin Benoit and Craig Kimbrel each provided one inning of shutout relief. Kelley recorded a pair of strikeouts, and Kimbrel stuck out one and earned his 39th save of the year.
Yangervis Solarte helped spark San Diego's offense with a two-run home run in the third inning that ultimately proved to be the difference. Solarte's 2-for-4 performance provided both his 63rd RBI and 14th homer of the year.
Cory Spangenberg also enjoyed a multi-hit game, going 2-for-3 with an RBI-single, which padded the Padres' lead in the fourth inning. Wil Myers, who started in left field, left the game in the fourth inning due to soreness in his left wrist, and was replaced by Alexi Amarista. With Myers' departure, he became the fourth injured Padres outfielder, joining Matt Kemp, Justin Upton and Alex Dickerson.
Thanks to Thursday's win, San Diego improved to 74-85 on the year and earned a "Happy Flight" -- or happy ride -- to Los Angeles where they will finish off their 2015 campaign with a three-game set against the Dodgers.
In case you missed it, here are some highlights and stories that you might not have seen from Thursday:
Padres post-game recap: Kennedy fans 11 as Padres edge Brewers
Solarte puts the Padres up over the Brewers with a two-run homer in the third:
Jankowski makes an excellent grab leaning into the stands to retire Rogers in the fourth:
Spangenberg's RBI-single increases the Padres' lead to 3-0 in the fourth inning:
Kimbrel strikes out Maldonado for his 39th save of the year to secure the win:
The day's top stories:
Padres outfielder cleared, but uncertainty remains: J-Up passes medical tests, but status TBD
East coast voice coming for West coast work: Padres hire Orsillo to be new TV broadcaster
Friars have to make due with injuries: Padres head to finish without Kemp, Justin Upton
A hark back to the wild finish in 2007: #TBT: Hoffman displays incredible character
Future Friars broadcaster thrilled for 2016: Orsillo excited for new chapter with Padres
Murph's Musings: Justin Upton joins Kemp on sidelines with neck strain
Wednesday's #ICYMI Recap: ICYMI: Friars downed by Crew's big inning
Looking forward to the next game:
Friar Forecast at Dodger Stadium: Kelly, Padres visit Dodgers in final series of 2015
Friday's pitching preview: Casey Kelly (0-1, 9.00 ERA) vs. Alex Wood (11-12, 3.89 ERA)