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Venable's walk-off homer propels Padres

The SportsXchange

SAN DIEGO -- Everything is going Will Venable's way.

Venable delivered a walk-off home run leading off the ninth inning, completing the San Diego Padres' rally for a 4-3 win over the New York Mets at Petco Park on Sunday.

Venable drilled a 1-2 slider off reliever Pedro Feliciano (0-2), allowing the Padres (56-68) to split the four-game series with the Mets (56-66). It was Venable's first walk-off homer and his club-leading 17th home run of the season. Huston Street (1-4) pitched a scoreless ninth for the victory.

Venable said facing Feliciano on Saturday helped his approach on Sunday, when he went to the plate looking for a slider.

"I had an idea what it looked like," said Venable, who went 2-for-5 and drove in two runs Sunday. "He threw me two fastballs before that pitch. In the back of my mind, I was hoping he would throw me a slider. He threw one and it caught enough of the plate, and I hit it out."

Feliciano couldn't believe it.

"He went down and got it," Feliciano said. "It was low, but it kind of went middle in, and he dove and got it straight up and it went out. It was surprising."

Venable has been on a tear. He extended his hitting streak to 15 games with an infield single earlier in the game. He is batting .377 during the streak, which is the longest by a Padre since Rondell White hit in 16 straight games in 2003.

"Really, the only thing I've done different is focus on my rhythm at the plate, which has allowed me to throw everything out the window instead of going up there with a checklist," said Venable, who has hit 12 of his homers at Petco. "I just try to see the ball and hit it. With good rhythm, I've been able to do that."

Said Padres manager Bud Black, "He's playing great baseball. He's swinging the bat great and he's playing defense. We're all proud of Will."

In the eighth inning, the Padres wiped out a 3-2 deficit. Chris Denorfia beat out an infield single off reliever Gonzalez Germen, with Yonder Alonso scoring on the play.

Pinch hitter Andrew Brown gave the Mets the lead with two outs in the seventh when he doubled off the center field wall to score Omar Quintanilla.

Mets starter Matt Harvey allowed two runs on six hits with six strikeouts in six innings but didn't figure in the decision. He didn't walk a batter. Harvey, who one-hit the Padres in an April win, threw 86 pitches (55 strikes) before Brown pinch-hit for him.

Padres starter Eric Stults worked 6 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on six hits. He struck out five and walked two on 105 pitches.

"I felt better than I did my last start in Colorado," said Stults, referring to a no-decision against the Rockies on Aug. 13, when he allowed five runs on 11 hits in 4 2/3 innings. "It's always nice to be home where you're comfortable. A great win for us today to even this series after two pretty tough losses the first two games."

Justin Turner tripled and Marlon Byrd hit an RBI double in the first to give the Mets a 1-0 lead.

New York made it 2-0 when Byrd scored on Wilmer Flores' sacrifice fly in the fourth.

In the fifth, the Padres tied the score when Logan Forsythe, who was hit by a pitch, came home on Venable's infield single and Nick Hundley scored on a sacrifice fly by Alexi Amarista.

Hundley went 3-for-3 with an intentional walk.

Byrd finished 2-for-4.

NOTES: Mets RHP Jenrry Mejia might be done for the season. Mejia, who left Saturday's contest against the Padres after experiencing discomfort in his right elbow, was placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday. He was replaced on the roster by RHP Greg Burke, who was called up from Triple-A Las Vegas. ... New York 1B Josh Satin reached base for his 28th consecutive start with a single in the fourth inning. ... The Mets travel to Minnesota for a makeup game against the Twins on Monday. The two teams were snowed out on April 14. ... The Padres host the Pittsburgh Pirates for a three-game series beginning Monday. ... Sunday's game drew a crowd of 24,704.
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