The San Francisco Giants have two of the last three World Series titles milestones achieved on the strength of their starting pitching.

The Padres have far less to dampen the thud of another letdown season. But besides unforeseen identical records they appear to be gaining ground on the Giants in one noteworthy respect.

Continuing the fine work the past two days of Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross Ian Kennedy posted the Padres' third consecutive one-run start in a 4-1 victory over San Francisco on Monday.

Since being acquired from Arizona the right-hander picked up his third win in four starts at welcoming Petco Park. He was opposed in stark contrast by Barry Zito the San Diego native proving a comforting remedy for the Padres' anemic offense. Huston Street recorded his 27th save with his 19th consecutive scoreless appearance.

San Francisco fell to 61-76. San Diego improved to 61-76. Both teams sit more than 20 games behind first-place Los Angeles in the National League West. Both teams have begun looking forward to next season when much of their fates will again rest with their starting pitchers.

At the moment the Padres' rotation is trending in the right direction. In six strong innings Monday Kennedy allowed five hits and two walks as he rebounded from last week's six-run outing in his return to Chase Field. In losses to the Dodgers over the weekend Cashner and Ross each allowed just one run over seven innings.

"That's three good starts" Padres manager Bud Black said. "What this is all about as we go through September is to see the continued development of Cash and Tyson. Hopefully Ian has a good month and bounces back and establishes what we think is a winning pitcher but you feel good about Kennedy when he's on the mound no doubt about it."

Kennedy wobbled in the fifth surrendering his lone run on Brandon Belt's RBI double. Otherwise he consistently got ahead of Giants batters striking out seven while moving to 6-2 in his 10th career start at Petco Park.

"He did a great job with his fastball working down in the zone early in counts elevating it when he needed to late" said Padres catcher Nick Hundley who extended his career-high home run total to 11 with a solo shot in the fourth. "They needed to respect him because he was still throwing strikes to both sides of the plate with it. When he can pitch off his fastball like that and get outs with his fastball like that it's gonna be a successful day."

The 29-year-old Kennedy along with Cashner and Ross projects to be a key arm in what is shaping up to be an intriguing 2014 rotation that should include Cory Luebke. The talented lefty on Monday took another step forward in his recovery from Tommy John surgery throwing 70 pitches in his third bullpen session.