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ARI@WSH: Kennedy limits Nats to two runs over seven

After watching teammate Joe Saunders get pummeled for six earned runs in 3 1/3 innings in an eventual 9-6 loss Monday night to the Cardinals, Ian Kennedy will take the mound Tuesday for his turn against the Cardinals' red-hot offense.

Kennedy went 1-1 vs. the Cardinals last season with a 12.00 ERA. Although it came in April, his worst start of 2011 was against St. Louis, as he lasted only three innings -- tied for his shortest outing of the year -- and allowed nine runs on seven hits.

It's not the best matchup for Kennedy, but with the 2011 National League West champions losing five of their last six games, he'll hope to stop the bleeding.

The 27-year-old right-hander is coming off what he said was his best outing of the season. He threw seven innings of four-hit, two-run ball but took a tough-luck loss to the Nationals.

"It's a tough loss," Kennedy said after losing, 2-1. "I feel like losing [Wednesday] night the way we did, and losing how we did [Thursday], it's always really tough when you lose these close games."

The D-backs' past five losses have come by a total of eight runs. They played in four straight games decided by one run before a 3-1 loss to the Mets on Sunday and Monday night's 9-6 loss to the Cardinals.

Opposing Kennedy will be Jake Westbrook. The right-hander is 3-2 with a 2.12 ERA. He hopes to rebound from his last start against the Pirates, when he allowed a season-high four earned runs in 6 1/3 innings.

"I felt like I pitched pretty well," he said after the game. "It just seems like they find a way to get that one hit or that one thing that cost me and cost our team."

Westbrook has made three career appearances against the D-backs -- two starts -- and is 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA.

D-backs: Injured players on mend
• Pitcher Daniel Hudson, who has been on the disabled since April 21 with a right shoulder impingement, is set to throw his first bullpen session since the injury on Tuesday.

"With how good I feel, I feel like I could jump out there today," Hudson said Monday. "But at the same time you have to be smart. I don't want to go back, have starts and be back where I am."

• Outfielder Chris Young, on the DL since April 18 with a right shoulder contusion, took 50 swings and threw from 150 feet Monday. He continues to move closer to rehab games.

"[To] be playing some games by the end of the week is my goal," Young said.

• Kennedy has gone 10-0 with a 2.27 ERA in his last 14 starts at Chase Field. The 10-game home winning streak is the third longest is club history behind Randy Johnson (13) and Brian Anderson (11).

Cardinals: Offensive outburst
• The Cardinals have outscored their opposition by a Major League-best 65 runs (161-96), which is seven runs ahead of Texas (58).

• The Cardinals have scored in the opening inning in each of their last seven games (14 runs total).

• Carlos Beltran is two stolen bases shy of becoming just the eighth player in Major League Baseball history to have 300 or more career home runs and 300 or more stolen bases. He would be the first switch-hitter to accomplish that feat. Comments