SAN DIEGO (AP) — Ian Kennedy pitched seven strong innings, combining with two relievers on a four-hitter, and Yonder Alonso drove in two runs as the San Diego Padres beat the NL Central-leading Pittsburgh Pirates 2-1 Wednesday to avoid a three-game sweep.
Kennedy, who played at Southern Cal, outpitched Gerrit Cole, who pitched at UCLA before the Pirates made him the first pick overall in the June 2011 draft.
Kennedy (5-9) won for the second time in four starts since being obtained from the NL West-rival Arizona Diamondbacks on July 31. He held Pittsburgh to four hits, struck out eight and walked three.
In his previous start, Kennedy allowed three home runs in 4 2-3 innings in a 5-2 loss to the New York Mets on Friday.
Luke Gregerson pitched the eighth, walking Felix Pie and allowing Andrew McCutchen’s sacrifice fly, and Huston Street worked the ninth for his 24th save in 25 chances.
The Pirates’ lead in the NL Central was reduced to one game over the St. Louis Cardinals, who beat Milwaukee 8-6.
Kennedy got into and out of trouble in the first, when the Pirates had two singles and two walks in the first inning, and didn’t score. Pie, who was promoted from Triple-A Indianapolis earlier Wednesday, beat out an infield single before being thrown out trying to steal second. With two outs, McCutchen singled and Pedro Alvarez and Russell Martin walked to load the bases. Kennedy got out of the jam by striking out Garrett Jones.
Alonso’s sacrifice fly in the third brought in Will Venable, who hit a leadoff double and advanced on Chris Denorfia’s groundout. In the fifth, Alonso singled in Denorfia, who singled with two outs and stole second.
Cole (6-6) allowed two runs and 10 hits in six innings, struck out five and walked none.
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