Venable, Cabrera lead Padres past Rockies 3-2San Diego Padres' Everth Cabrera, right, starts to slide safely into home as Colorado Rockies catcher Jordan Pacheco awaits the late throw during the seventh inning of a baseball game on Sunday, July 22, 2012, in San Diego. Cabrera scored the go-ahead run on a single by John Baker. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Will Venable made the most of one of the few at-bats he had over the weekend, and Everth Cabrera's aggressiveness paid off again for the San Diego Padres.
Venable drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning and Cabrera had two hits and twice beat throws to the plate as the Padres beat the Colorado Rockies 3-2 on Sunday.
''It's tough for me because it's not something I've been accustomed to or learned how to do yet,'' Venable said of substituting late in games. ''It was nice to have that opportunity to get a big knock there.''
Venable has mostly face right-handers this season, having only 55 at-bats and a .213 batting average against lefties.
''That was big for Will,'' Padres manager Bud Black said. ''Will got a big knock, the biggest knock of the day. Will against (Matt) Reynolds, who's tough on lefties, got it done.''
Dale Thayer (2-2) pitched 1 1-3 innings of scoreless relief to earn the victory for the Padres, who have won seven of nine and three straight series for the first time this season. Huston Street retired the side in order in the ninth to convert his 16th save in as many chances.
Cabrera, who stole home a week ago to tie a game in Los Angeles, singled to lead off the seventh against Adam Ottavino (2-1) before Colorado manager Jim Tracy brought in the left-handed Reynolds to face John Baker and Venable, both left-handed hitters. Baker sacrificed Cabrera to second and Venable, who had only three at-bats in the series and entered in the top of the inning as part of a double switch, singled to right as Cabrera beat Tyler Colvin's throw home to put San Diego on top 3-2.
Cabrera also scored the tying run in the fourth on a single by Baker and crashed into catcher Jordan Pacheco, who dropped the ball before the collision. Pacheco made his first start at catcher this season since Wilin Rosario was unavailable due to an ankle injury and backup Ramon Hernandez had caught two straight games.
''We've talked about Cabby since we acquired him,'' Black said. ''There is an inherent aggressiveness to his game, especially on the basepaths. He is fearless. Good baserunners, good base-stealers, have that in them. He's not tentative. He doesn't scare off. He's not afraid of getting thrown out. He pushes it.''
Eric Young opened the game with a triple against Ross Ohlendorf and scored on Marco Scutaro's single. San Diego answered in the bottom of the inning when Alexi Amarista scored on Chase Headley's sacrifice fly against Christian Friedrich.
''They shut us down offensively today, that's what it boils down to,'' Tracy said. ''We had four hits in the first two innings of the game and over the course of the next seven. When your (Nos.) 3, 4, 5 and 6 hitters don't get anything going, it's going to make for a tough day offensively.''
Friedrich gave up two runs on three hits in five innings while striking out two and walking three.
''I got a lot of 2-1 outs and 3-1 outs, which usually don't happen,'' Friedrich said. ''But our plan was to go inside today and we stuck to it, but I just couldn't make adjustments to get back over the plate a little more.''
Ohlendorf yielded two runs and five hits over a season-high 6 2-3 innings. He struck out six and walked two.
DJ LeMahieu had two hits and an RBI for the Rockies, who have lost four of five, and have dropped three consecutive series.
NOTES: Tracy said Rosario is day-to-day and will likely avoid the disabled list. ... Rockies RHP Drew Pomeranz will miss his next start with soreness in his right arm. No decision has been made on who will start in Pomeranz's spot on Tuesday, according to Tracy. ... Newly acquired LHP Jonathan Sanchez will make his first start for the Rockies on Monday in Arizona against Ian Kennedy (7-8, 4.33). ... Clayton Richard (7-10, 3.86) will face Ryan Vogelsong (7-4, 2.31) when San Diego opens a three-game series in San Francisco.