The Royals and Rangers are interested in Ian Kennedy

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Ken Rosenthal reports that the Royals and Rangers have expressed interest in Padres starter Ian Kennedy.

The Padres are openly shopping any number of pitchers, including Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross, but Kennedy is the most likely to be dealt, Rosenthal says. And given that the Padres are looking for offense, it doesn’t seem like the Royals would make a great match for them.

Kennedy has been a below league-average pitcher in terms of ERA+ the past two seasons. Though last year he did strike out more than a batter an inning and over the past several years has never pitched fewer than 181 innings.

Steven Matz homers in back-to-back starts

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Mets starter Steven Matz helped his own cause again, belting a solo home run in the top of the third inning of Tuesday’s game against the Phillies. Matz turned on a 1-1 breaking ball from Cy Young contender Aaron Nola, breaking a scoreless tie.

Matz also homered in his previous start against the Marlins last Thursday. According to MLB Stat of the Day, he is the third Mets pitcher to homer in back-to-back starts, joining Tom Seaver (1972) and Ron Darling (1989).

Matz is the fourth full-time pitcher to hit multiple home runs this season, joining the Reds’ Michael Lorenzen (four), and the Cardinals’ John Gant and Miles Mikolas (two each). The last Mets pitcher to hit multiple home runs in a season was Noah Syndergaard, who hit three in 2016.

Along with the bat, Matz has also been dealing on the mound. As of this writing, he has held the Phillies scoreless over five innings despite walking five batters and allowing two hits.