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Padres shut down White Sox again

The SportsXchange

CHICAGO -- The San Diego Padres used a familiar formula to win their second straight game against the Chicago White Sox on Saturday.

Tyson Ross (6-4) provided what manager San Diego manager Bud Black called a "workmanlike" start and the bullpen cleaned house late during a 4-2 victory.

"It was a battle today," Ross said. "The guys gave me a lead early. It wasn't very comfortable, though, they were in striking distance the whole time."

Will Venable had four hits and drove in two runs to go along with a run scored a stolen base.

Ross gave up two runs, one earned, on five hits over six innings before giving way to the bullpen, which hasn't allowed a hit in the last two games a U.S. Cellular Field, culminating with Huston Street's 17th save in as many chances.

Nick Vincent struck out the side in a perfect seventh and Joaquin Benoit had two punchouts in the eighth to bridge the gap.

"Those three guys have done a nice job the last two games," San Diego manager Bud Black said. "All in all, it was a well-pitched game by the bullpen once again."

White Sox starter Andre Rienzo (4-2) gave up three runs and seven hits and was replaced after 3 1/3 innings.

Venable's double to the corner right field in the third inning scored Yonder Alonso from first to give the Padres a 1-0 lead.

Venable, who took third on the throw home, was caught in a rundown on a sharp comebacker by center fielder Cameron Maybin two pitches later. The rundown extended long enough for Maybin to take second, but he exited immediately as a precautionary measure due to tightness in his right calf

Catcher Rene Rivera drove in Maybin's replacement, Chris Denorfia, with one of his two doubles for a 2-0 lead.

Alejandro De Aza's double-play grounder made it 2-1 in the bottom half. Dayan Viciedo ended another potential rally with a double play grounder of his own in the third.

"(The offense is) sputtering right now," said Chicago manager Robin Ventura, whose team has struck out 23 times in the past two games, including 10 times Saturday.

"We're just not getting that hit, the hit that gets you over the hump."

Denorfia, who played in right field, made a diving catch with two on to again deny the White Sox in the fourth.

"They're a good hitting team and plenty of innings there where they had one, two runners on base, but the defense stepped up huge," Ross said.

Chicago has managed only three runs on nine hits the last two games.

"Guys realize it's been sputtering and you're trying to do maybe a bit too much, Ventura said.

The Padres squandered an opportunity in the third when they were only able to come away with one run after loading the bases with none out.

Venable singled up the middle to score left fielder Seth Smith, but Carlos Quentin was thrown out trying to score from second.

Rienzo was replaced by Scott Carroll in the fourth with runners at first and third. Carroll got out of the jam and kept the White Sox close, giving up one run over the 3 2/3 innings.

Center fielder Adam Eaton reached first on an error by shortstop Evereth Cabrera and scored on a two-out double by Viciedo to cut the deficit to 3-2 in the fifth.

The Padres came away with another run when Venable barely beat Eaton's throw home on a sacrifice fly by Alexi Amarista to make it 4-2.

NOTES: Padres SS Evereth Cabrera was caught stealing in the fourth inning. Manager Bud Black unsuccessfully challenged the play, which took 2 minutes, 51 seconds to review. ... LF Seth Smith also was caught stealing on a close play in the seventh to end the inning. ... Chicago 1B Jose Abreu was hit by a pitch during a simulated game as he works his way back from the 15-day disabled list with left ankle tendinitis. The rookie Cuban slugger is still on schedule to return Monday. ... DH Paul Konerko was back in the lineup after dealing with back stiffness following a drawn-out win Tuesday that featured two rain delays totaling 2 hours, 39 minutes.

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