Kennedy, Diamondbacks treat Pirates to loss
TribLIVE Sports Videos
PHOENIX — Ian Kennedy was trying to become the fourth 20-game winner in Arizona Diamondbacks history. Jeff Karstens wanted merely to reach double-digit wins in his final start this season for the Pirates.
Karstens tossed six strong innings and even hit a single. But he got no help from his teammates.
Kennedy also tossed a gem and was helped by Justin Upton, whose broken-bat home run lifted the Diamondbacks to a 1-0 victory Monday.
"All you can do is tip your cap to him," Karstens said. "The bat snapped in half, and the ball still went out. No reason to be mad over it."
Leading off the sixth inning, Upton shattered his bat at the handle when he connected on a 3-0 pitch. A replay review by the umpires confirmed there was no fan interference with Alex Presley, who leaped at the wall in a futile attempt to make a catch.
"When I saw the bat go flying, I thought (the ball) would hang up, and I'd catch it like normal," Presley said. "I got back there in time and thought I was going to be able to make a play, but it didn't work out."
The blast made Kennedy the National League's first 20-game winner this season. Kennedy (20-4) joined Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling and Brandon Webb as the only Arizona pitchers to reach that milestone.
"I'm happy for him," said Karstens (9-9), who befriended Kennedy when they were teammates in the New York Yankees' system. "But I wish it wasn't against us that he got his 20th win. He's had a great season."
Presley tripled with one out in the ninth off closer J.J. Putz. But Neil Walker grounded out to first base, and Andrew McCutchen struck out swinging.
The Pirates, who have scored one run over their past 25 innings, fell into a tie with the Chicago Cubs for fourth place in the NL Central. The Pirates haven't finished higher than fifth since 2003.
The Diamondbacks lowered their magic number for winning the NL West to four.
Karstens worked six innings, allowed five hits and one walk, and struck out three.
"It was a feel-good for everybody who's been pulling for Jeff," manager Clint Hurdle said. "It's been a big step-forward year for him. He's knocked down some barriers. He was very, very sharp tonight."
Before the game, Hurdle said Karstens will be shut down due to his high pitch and innings counts.
Karstens threw 162.1 innings this year, his highest total in the majors. In 2006, he threw a combined 190.1 innings in the minors and brief stint with the New York Yankees.
Karstens won five straight decisions in six starts from June 14-July 15, but he since has gone 1-4 with four no-decisions. He skipped two starts recently due to shoulder fatigue.
In the third inning, Karstens lined a two-out single to left — the Pirates' first hit. In the bottom of the inning, he put up the first 1-2-3 inning by a Pirates pitcher since the eighth inning Friday against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Pirates went down in order in six of eight innings against Kennedy, who matched his career high with 12 strikeouts.
"He was throwing every pitch for strikes and mixing it up pretty well," Presley said. "He locates pretty well, so he keeps you off-balance. He had us on the defensive a lot."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Thursday’s scouting report: Red Sox at Pirates
- New approach on offense has Pirates in playoff contention this season
- Pirates notebook: Hurdle quiet on rotation plans
- Pirates analyst Kent Tekulve recovering after heart transplant
- Morton, Pirates blank Red Sox in series opener
- Wednesday’s scouting report: Red Sox at Pirates
- Pitt notebook: Expanded game plan likely awaits Iowa
- Biertempfel: In wild-card game, Cole must get call
- Tuesday’s scouting report: Red Sox at Pirates
- Pirates notebook: Holdzkom’s wild ride continues
- Pirates notebook: Morton to start Tuesday against Red Sox