Ian Kennedy is still scheduled to take the mound Sunday after appealing a 10-game suspension for his role in a bench-clearing brawl earlier this week.
He could be in for a battle against the surging San Diego Padres .
The visiting Arizona Diamondbacks hope to avoid a three-game sweep against the Padres, who try to gain even more ground on the NL West leaders.
While eight suspensions and 12 fines were handed out by major league baseball as a result of the Diamondbacks' brawl with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday, Kennedy (3-4, 5.49 ERA) received the stiffest punishment after "intentionally throwing a pitch in the head area of Zack Greinke ".
The right-hander's suspension is the longest handed out for on-field conduct since Chicago Cubs catcher Michael Barrett 's 10-game punishment for punching White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski in May 2006.
"You look at the history and my history and the history of things happening with first offenses in the past and that's why I'm going to go through the appealing process," Kennedy told MLB's official website. "I think 10 games is - I think they're trying to set an example.
"I feel there's a lot of things being attacked at my character and saying I'm a headhunter. I really don't appreciate that."
Kennedy, who threw 6 1-3 innings of two-run ball before being ejected Tuesday, now turns his attention to the Padres (34-34). After taking Friday's series opener 2-1, San Diego extended its winning streak to a season-high five and reached .500 for the first time in more than two years with Saturday's 6-4 victory.
"It looks good on paper," manager Bud Black said of the team evening its record. "I think it sends a great message to our guys, it really does. They fought off some hard times in April to where we are now. So I'm very proud of them to get to .500. It's great. I think it proves that we can continue to play solid baseball."
San Diego, hitting .379 with runners in scoring position during its winning streak, has climbed to within three games of the Diamondbacks (37-31). Loser in five of seven, Arizona hasn't dropped three straight since May 11-13 and hasn't been swept at Petco Park since July 16-18, 2010.
The Diamondbacks will try to get back on track against Clayton Richard (1-5, 8.06), who's trying to avoid becoming the first Padre to lose his first six decisions as a starter since Stan Spencer went 0-7 in 1999.
The left-hander's only win came while throwing two scoreless innings of relief May 31 in a 4-3, 17-inning victory over Toronto. He's since been tagged for a combined 10 runs over two starts spanning 10 1-3 innings.
Richard had gone 6-0 with a 4.06 ERA over his first eight starts versus Arizona prior to surrendering seven runs in 3 2-3 innings during an 8-1 loss May 4. Paul Goldschmidt and Cody Ross are a combined 10 for 19 with four doubles against him.
Kennedy had won six consecutive starts in the series before going 1-2 with a 5.54 ERA in his last four. He allowed five runs over 5 2-3 innings in a 5-1 loss at Petco on May 5.
He'll need to be careful against Chase Headley , who's 5 for 12 with a homer and three extra-base hits against him since last season. Kennedy, though, has had his way with Everth Cabrera (3 for 17) and Blanks (1 for 11).
|June 10, 2013||Matt Reynolds||15-Day DL||Strained left elbow|
|May 31, 2013||Brandon McCarthy||15-Day DL||Right shoulder inflammation|
|May 31, 2013||Eric Chavez||15-Day DL||Strained right oblique|
|May 30, 2013||Eric Chavez||Day-to-Day||Strained right oblique|
|May 26, 2013||Ian Kennedy||Day-to-Day||Cut on right index finger|
|May 08, 2013||J.J. Putz||15-Day DL||Strained right elbow|
|San Diego Padres|
|June 11, 2013||Cameron Maybin||Day-to-Day||Sore knee|
|June 10, 2013||Cameron Maybin||15-Day DL||Strained left knee|
|June 10, 2013||Jedd Gyorko||15-Day DL||Strained right groin|
|June 01, 2013||Yonder Alonso||15-Day DL||Right hand contusion|
|May 31, 2013||Yonder Alonso||Day-to-Day||Bruised hand|
|May 30, 2013||Huston Street||15-Day DL||Strained left calf|
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Kyle Blanks was on his way back to the minor leagues ten days ago. Now it appears he'll be sticking around for a while.
Blanks hit a three-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, snapping a 1-1 tie and lifting San Diego to a season-high sixth straight win, 4-1 over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday.
Blanks' eighth home run of the season and second in two days came off reliever David Hernandez (2-4) and made a winner out of Clayton Richard (2-5), giving the Padres a three-game sweep.
"Any situation is big but to produce late in the game makes it that much better," said Blanks.
Blanks has hit safely in 11 of his last 15 games, batting .321 during that span.
"There is no secret. I've been just trying to stay consistent ... really focusing on trying to get good swings and putting those good swings on good pitches and typically good things happen when you do that."
Ten days ago Blanks had been assigned to Triple-A Tucson but made a quick U-turn when injuries befell first baseman Yonder Alonso and outfielder Cameron Maybin .
"He's got raw power, he's a big man with legitimate power that plays in the big leagues," said Padres manager Bud Black . "He's taken this opportunity of regular play and really playing well whether in the outfield or at first base. He's responding. He's making a statement."
Richard went a season-high eight innings, allowing one run on seven hits. He walked none and struck out one as he improved to 7-1 in 10 career starts against the Diamondbacks. It was his first win as a starter since Sept. 20. 2012, ending a streak of seven consecutive losing decisions.
"For the most part my fast ball was down in the zone," said Richard, "and that's big for me."
Huston Street came on in the ninth to pick up his 13th save in 14 opportunities for the Padres (35-34), who moved above 500. for the first time since closing the 2010 season with a 90-72 record.
The Padres have gone 30-19 since April 24th, are 21-7 in their last 28 home games and have pulled within two games of first-place Arizona in the NL West.
Blanks had gone 0 for 3 against Arizona starter Ian Kennedy before launching a hanging breaking ball from Hernandez.
Kennedy, who is appealing a 10-game suspension for his part in a the team's recent brawl with the Los Angeles Dodgers , pitched six innings, giving up one run on four hits with six strikeouts and a walk.
Kennedy also had a pair of singles and drove in the Diamondbacks' first run in the top of the third with a single to center that scored Cliff Pennington , who had doubled and stole third.
In the bottom of the third, the Padres' Will Venable hit his ninth home run of the season, a 429-foot blast to right-center off Kennedy.
It stayed that way until the eighth. Everth Cabrera opened the inning with his third single of the game and Chase Headley walked with two outs before Blanks hit a 1-2 pitch 379 feet into the left-field bleachers.
That gave Richard's his first win as a starter this season. He had a relief win earlier in the season.
"Clayton threw the ball well, look at the results," said Black. "I thought he had good command of his fastball, especially down in the strike zone. And he utilized his two-seam fastball with 89 to 90 velocity and got the good sliders and good sinking fastball."
One of his best pitches was a slider on which he got Paul Goldschmidt , the NL RBI leader, to ground into a double play with runners on first and third and one out in the sixth.
"We got outplayed in every aspect of the game in this series," said Arizona manager Kirk Gibson . "We scored six runs in three games. That's pretty telling right there. You have to give them credit. We have to redeem ourselves."
NOTES: Padres OF Carlos Quentin remained out of the starting lineup with an ailing left shoulder. Black said that team orthopedic surgeon Heinz Hoenecke would evaluate Quentin during a game. ... Padres INF Jedd Gyorko , currently on the DL with a groin strain, will travel with the team to San Francisco on Monday and according to Black will do some hitting on the field and take ground balls. Black is hopeful he'll resume normal baseball activities by the end of the week. ... Arizona INF Aaron Hill (broken left hand) went 1-for-4 with an RBI Saturday in a rehab assignment for Triple-A Reno. ... Gibson said INF Eric Chavez (strained oblique) is a few weeks away from returning. ... RHP Brandon McCarthy will resume light throwing activities Monday. McCarthy has been on the disabled list since June 1 with right shoulder inflammation. Gibson said McCarthy's shoulder "feels good." ... The Padres will send RHP Edinson Volquez (5-5, 5.87 ERA) to the mound Monday against Giants LHP Barry Zito (4-5, 4.79). ... Arizona heads home to face Miami with LHP Patrick Corbin (9-0, 2.28) facing RHP Jacob Turner (1-0, 1.80).