Two pitchers looking for two different things will face each other on Sunday, when the Padres and Nationals conclude their four-game series at Nationals Park.
San Diego's Ian Kennedy will go looking for his first victory since April 6, even though he's pitched well in his three starts since then.
Washington's Taylor Jordan will attempt to steer clear of making headlines -- bad ones, at that -- after he allowed home runs Nos. 499 and 500 to Albert Pujols of the Angels last week.
In his last start, Kennedy overcame a rough start in which he was stressed early by the Brewers, who not only had a lot of traffic on the bases early, but had 18 fouls balls in the first three innings alone. This drove the right-hander's pitch count to 73 after he recorded just nine outs.
"It was a grind to get through," Kennedy said. "I knew I had to get more efficient."
Kennedy regrouped and got through six innings, allowing one run on four hits.
As for Jordan, he struggled from the outset against the Angels, allowing a three-run home run to Pujols in the first inning -- career home run No. 499 -- before later allowing No. 500 in the fifth.
Jordan said he put too much pressure on himself not to give up the historic home run.
"The 500th home run, that pitch was supposed to be low and away," Jordan said. "I guess I tried too hard to get it there. We did three consecutive fastballs there. I was really trying to get that ball where I wanted it, and left it over the middle of the plate."
SD: Hundley making most of playing time
• It hasn't been easy for Nick Hundley to get himself playing time, not with the Padres carrying two other catchers -- Yasmani Grandal and Rene Rivera.
Counting Saturday, Grandal and Rivera have each made 10 starts this season -- with Hundley making five, including Friday's 11-1 loss to the Nationals.
But Hundley has made the most of his playing time. In fact, he has a .345 batting average (10-for-29) in 14 games.
Since April 20, Hundley is hitting .429 (6-for-14) -- and he has two hits this season as a pinch-hitter.
"All I can do is keep helping my team try to win games," Hundley said.
Nationals: Desmond finding stride
• Shortstop Ian Desmond has played every inning of every game for the Nationals so far this season. If his bat continues to come around, it will likely stay that way.
Desmond went 3-for-5 with two RBIs on Friday and added an opposite-field RBI double in the first inning of Saturday's 4-0 win over San Diego -- a good sign after an 0-for-13 skid that left his average below .220. Manager Matt Williams even elected to keep Desmond in Friday's 11-1 blowout, in order to give the shortstop an opportunity to keep hitting.
"Des is going to be our shortstop, and he can play as much as he wants to play," Williams said. "He hasn't come to me and asked for a day, and he hasn't shown any indication of being slow or anything like that. He doesn't have any nicks or dings, so he's good. If he's playing well and he's feeling good, I can't take him out of the lineup just because I think he needs a rest."
• Having scored 113 runs in 25 games, the Nationals have set a club mark for the most runs scored in the season's opening month (March/April). The previous record was 108 set in April 2006.
• The three errors by the Padres on Saturday -- they would have had four, but one was changed to a hit -- is a season-high. The Padres also dropped a would-be double-play ball on an exchange at second base.