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Kennedy pitches well again, bullpen gives up lead in Padres' 4-3 loss in 10 to Rangers

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SAN DIEGO — After a miserable first two months, has been a different pitcher.

Kennedy turned in another outstanding performance, but the bullpen couldn't hold the lead and 's RBI double in the 10th inning lifted the surging Texas Rangers to a 4-3 win over the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night.

After Kennedy saw squander a 3-2 lead in the eighth inning, Moreland hit a line drive down the right-field line off Bud Norris (1-1) in the 10th to score , who had reached on a one-out single.

Almost lost in the bullpen's failures was another brilliant outing by Kennedy.

"It goes unnoticed how great he was," Padres interim manager said. "Great performance, great performance battling their No. 1."

Kennedy did outpitch Padres nemesis , a San Diego native.

Kennedy tied his career high with 12 strikeouts, including the final five batters he faced. He allowed two runs and five hits with two walks in seven innings.

"They are a good team, a great hitting team," Kennedy said. "You try to navigate through that lineup. I caught myself one time thinking there is no break in this lineup."

After going 2-5 with a 7.15 ERA in the first two months of the season, Kennedy is 6-7 with a 2.64 ERA in 17 starts since June 1.

Hamels, who is 9-2 against the Padres in 17 career starts, gave up three runs and eight hits over seven innings.

The Rangers cut first-place Houston's lead in the AL West to two games. The Astros lost 8-3 to Seattle.

Texas, which has won nine of 12 games, retained its one-game lead over Minnesota for the second AL wild-card berth.

(2-1) pitched two innings as the Rangers (70-62) went a season-high eight games over .500.

"It's been a good stretch and we've got a ways to go," Texas manager said. "We've got to continue to play well and be on top of our game."

The Padres have lost seven of 10 games.

San Diego's escaped a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the ninth by striking out pinch-hitter Mike Napoli and .

Beltre tied the game at 3-all with a sacrifice fly off Benoit in the eighth.

drove in three runs for San Diego, including a two-run double in the fourth inning off Hamels. Barmes put the Padres ahead 3-2 in the sixth with a run-scoring groundout.

Beltre had an RBI double in the first and hit a solo homer for the Rangers.

NOTABLE NUMBERS

Hamels made his 300th career start and has 1,895 strikeouts, third highest among active pitchers behind (2,032) and Justin Verlander (1,898).

TRAINER'S ROOM

Padres: 1B (sprained lower back) and C (sore left arm) were out of the starting lineup. Alonso aggravated his existing back condition Tuesday night, while Norris' situation was the result of a collision with Beltre at the plate on Tuesday. ... RHP (right forearm strain), who left Tuesday's game, is expected to be out for 2 to 3 days.

UP NEXT

Rangers: After a day off, LHP (2-3, 5.16 ERA) will start Friday night in the opener of a three-game set at the Los Angeles Angels. Perez was 2-1 with a 3.13 ERA in five August starts as he lowered his overall ERA from 10.50 to 5.16.

Padres: RHP (2-2, 5.95 ERA) makes his fifth career start in the opener of a four-game series against the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday. After winning his first two starts, the rookie has been pounded in his last two starts, giving up eight earned runs in nine innings.

PHOTO: San Diego Padres starting pitcher Ian Kennedy works against the Texas Rangers during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)
San Diego Padres starting pitcher Ian Kennedy works against the Texas Rangers during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)

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PHOTO: San Diego Padres starting pitcher Ian Kennedy works against the Texas Rangers during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)
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