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SD@NYM: Kennedy allows three runs over 5 1/3 innings

The Giants were flummoxed by two unfamiliar faces -- Odrisamer Despaigne and Jesse Hahn -- the past two nights, to the tune of two runs in 13 innings against the pair of Padres rookies who entered the series with three career starts combined.

Perhaps Ian Kennedy's familiar face will be a pleasant sight for the Giants on Wednesday afternoon as they try to avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of the Padres. There won't be any surprise pitches in Kennedy's arsenal or a lack of film to study from.

That said, with apologies to pitcher-friendly Petco Park, Kennedy probably won't mind getting to see the Giants at AT&T Park.

Kennedy is 3-3 with a 3.53 ERA in seven road starts this season. At his home ballpark, he's 2-5 with a 4.19 ERA in nine starts.

This will be the first time this season Kennedy has faced the Giants. For the first two months of the regular season, he was the most consistent and reliable starter in the rotation.

June has been a different story, as he has a 5.40 ERA in four starts. He hasn't won since June 4, but he continues to keep the Padres in a lot of games.

The Giants will counter with Tim Lincecum. Though far from his two-time Cy Young-winning form, Lincecum has recently bounced back from a disastrous start to the season, which saw his ERA at 5.55 on May 11. Through 15 starts, it now sits at 4.90. He still represents an uncertainty on the mound, though, having surrendered 17 runs in 22 1/3 innings during his past four starts.

Lincecum is 14-6 with a 2.47 ERA in 27 career starts against the Padres. He was tagged for three runs in six innings April 20 in his only start against them this season.

Giants: Starting pitching problematic 
The Giants are 3-11 in their past 14 games, a span that's seen 6 1/2 games chopped off their National League West lead over the Dodgers. Manager Bruce Bochy wasn't shy in pinpointing the team's biggest problem after Tuesday night's 7-2 loss -- its starting pitching.

Giant starters have given up 53 earned runs in 84 2/3 innings in the that 14-game span.

"It's the rotation that put us in a good position, but we've hit a bump in the road with some of them, and that's going to happen," Bochy said. "What's going to be important is that we come out of this, and it's going to be our starting pitching that gets us out of this. Some days are hard to explain, like our struggles here at home where they've done such a great job."

The Giants have lost five consecutive games at home and have given up 33 runs in those games. They're 1-8 in their past nine home games and have gotten just four quality starts in their last 14 games overall.

Padres: Headley returns to lineup 
After missing four games with a herniated disk in his back -- and receiving an epidural -- third baseman Chase Headley was back in the starting lineup Tuesday.

"He's feeling better," said manager Bud Black. "He got that injection and we think the shot helped. The four days off helped, too."

Black wasn't sure if Headley would be ready Tuesday, but he went through a full workout before Monday's game and awoke feeing fine.

"He texted me this morning and told me he was ready to go," Black said.

Worth noting
• The loss Tuesday dropped the Giants to 18-19 against teams below .500 this season.

• Prior to their first two wins this series, the Padres hadn't scored six or more runs in back-to-back games since May 9-10 against the Marlins.

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