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Padres 9, Dodgers 3

The SportsXchange

SAN DIEGO -- Will Venable tied a career high with four RBIs as the San Diego Padres routed the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-3 in their home opener before a sellout-crowd of 44,436 on Tuesday at Petco Park.

Venable went 2 for 3 with a home run and had a three-run triple in the eighth that broke open the game. He also walked twice.

Catcher Nick Hundley also homered for the Padres (2-5), who snapped a three-game skid. The Dodgers (4-3) had their three-game winning streak ended.

A lack of offense had been one of the Padres' biggest headaches entering their home opener. They were batting .204 and ranked 27th of 30 teams in the majors in offense.

But San Diego scored two runs in the first and one each in the fifth and seventh before erupting for five in the eighth.

Mark Kotsay's double to deep right center, scoring Cameron Maybin, in the seventh gave San Diego a 4-3 lead. The Padres never trailed again.

Hundley's homer in the fifth gave San Diego a 3-2 lead, but the Dodgers rallied to tie the score again in the seventh when Carl Crawford scored on a single to left by Adrian Gonzalez.

Reliever Luke Gregerson (1-0) got the victory. Ronald Belisario (0-1) suffered the loss.

Padres starter Clayton Richard gave up two runs and eight hits in five innings. He struck out three and walked three before being relieved by Andrew Cashner in the sixth.

Josh Beckett also went five innings for the Dodgers, giving up three runs, six hits and a walk. He struck out four.

The Padres greeted starter Josh Beckett with two runs in the first. Venable, who entered the game batting .133, drilled the first pitch he saw from Beckett into the right-field bleachers for a 1-0 Padres lead with one out. Jedd Gyorko's RBI single to center scored Yonder Alonso, who doubled, to make it 2-0.

Adrian Gonzalez led off the fourth with a single before Juan Uribe hit a two-run homer to right to tie the score.

NOTES: Greg Vaughn, the only Padre to hit 50 home runs, threw out the first pitch. ... The Padres honored the late Darrel Akerfelds, the club's former bullpen coach, by unveiling a plaque in the bullpen before the game. Akerfelds died last year from pancreatic cancer. ... Gonzalez entered the game hitting .875 against Richard. ... Matt Kemp had the third highest batting average at Petco Park at .339 among active players entering the season. Lance Berkman and Ichiro Suzuki are first and second. ... Kotsay had hit safely in each of the past four games before Tuesday's game. He was hitting .625 entering the game. ... Dodgers pitchers led the majors with a 1.00 ERA, a .154 opponents' batting average and a combined three shutouts entering the series. They had struck out 48 and walked eight in 54 innings. ... Tuesday's game was the first of 19 between the Padres and Dodgers. The Padres visit L.A. for the first time April 15-17.
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