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PIT@SD: Kennedy fans seven over six strong frames

Two teams that haven't yet won a full series in June will try to pull off the feat on Sunday in a rubber match between the Padres and Mets.

San Diego came into the three-game set in Queens having won just two of its last 10 games, while New York had lost eight of its past nine. They split the first two contests this weekend, but each team could fall into last place in their respective division with a loss in the series finale.

Ian Kennedy tied his season high of five runs allowed last week against Philadelphia in seven innings. The big blow was a three-run homer to Marlon Byrd.

"Last game I made a couple of mistakes but those things happen," Kennedy said. "A couple games before that had been going pretty well. Executing, good game-call by Rene [Rivera]. I've gotten into a good rhythm with him."

He hasn't thrown less than six innings since May 3 against Arizona when he went five. Over his last four starts, he's struck out 25 hitters.

"If you have a good outing and a bad outing, sometimes it comes down to one pitch," Kennedy said. "I feel like with those last outings, it always comes down to one or two pitches you want back. But you've just got to plug away, you can't focus on those and harp on them."

Daisuke Matsuzaka will make his third straight turn through the Mets' rotation after spending most of the season in the bullpen.

As a starter this year, Matsuzaka has a 3.86 ERA and 1.16 WHIP, and a 2.95 ERA and 1.23 WHIP overall. He hasn't taken a Major League loss since Sept. 2, 2013.

In his last outing against Milwaukee, he held the NL Central-leading Brewers to three hits and one run in six innings. Through 39 2/3 innings in 2014, he's allowed just 21 hits, but recorded 28 walks and 39 strikeouts.

Mets: Familia is go-to closer with Mejia out
As long as a tight back keeps closer Jenrry Mejia out of action, Mets fans can expect right-hander and top setup man Jeurys Familia to get the closing opportunities.

"His talent is off the chart -- 97 [mph] with a tremendous sinker, an improved changeup and a great breaking ball," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "It's all about confidence. When you've tried to [ease] him along the way, put him in some situations where he can get better, he can feel good when he leaves the mound."

After a rocky April, Familia has settled down considerably. In his last 24 games (25 innings) since May 1, Familia has a 1.80 ERA and 0.96 WHIP while limiting opponents to a 1.86 average. His strikeout-to-walk ratio in that time is 3.25.

Familia seems to be taking the role change in stride.

"Every time I go to pitch, it doesn't matter what inning I'm throwing," Familia said. "For me, first inning, second inning, seventh inning, eighth inning, ninth inning -- it's all the same. You just have to go out there to throw strikes to get the hitter out."

Padres: Patton sent to 15-day DL with sore shoulder
Faced with a difficult decision about who to demote Saturday in order to make room for spot-starter Jesse Hahn, Padres manager Bud Black essentially had the decision made for him when lefty reliever Troy Patton reported "unpitchable" shoulder soreness.

Patton was placed on the 15-day DL Saturday morning after soreness he had experienced for a few days became severe enough to prevent him from throwing.

"It became unpitchable yesterday," Patton said. "It came to a point where it was sore enough to say something."

After a couple rough outings to start his Padres tenure in June, Patton had settled into his southpaw role in the bullpen and made six scoreless appearances in June, totaling 5 1/3 innings with four hits and seven strikeouts.

"He's pitched well," said Black. "We had to make a decision on someone to make some sort of move to get Jesse on the active roster."

Hahn, meanwhile, made his second Major League start on Saturday and pitched six impressive scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and three walks with seven strikeouts. He even got his first hit in the big leagues, an RBI single that increased San Diego's lead to four runs in an eventual 5-0 win.

Worth noting
• Daniel Murphy went 0-for-4 on Saturday, breaking a 10-start hitting streak.

• Jedd Gyorko leads the Padres in RBIs (24) despite missing the team's last nine games with plantar fasciitis and batting .162, the lowest average among qualifying hitters.

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