Venable's invisible homer powers Padres

Forrest Lee, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

SAN DIEGO -- It wasn't exactly the hidden-ball trick. Still, Will Venable got tricked into thinking his home run was a routine fly ball to right.
That turned out to be the only drama Tuesday in a one-sided affair as the San Diego Padres earned a 5-1 victory over the Miami Marlins before 16,263 fans at Petco Park.
Venable lifted a 1-0 pitch from Alex Sanabia into the sky with no outs in the second inning but lost track of it in the evening twilight. Marlins right fielder Marcell Ozuna also had no clue where the ball was, but Venable thought he had flied out.
"I knew I had hit it high," Venable said. "I didn't know (Ozuna) had lost the ball. Obviously, I was disappointed at that point."
However, first base coach Dave Roberts told Venable to keep running as Venable slowed rounding the base, though Roberts didn't know where the ball was either.
"(Roberts) was saying, '(Ozuna) can't see it, can't see it,'" Venable said. "(Roberts said), 'Start running.' I took off, and next thing I knew, (the ball) was in the seats. I can't remember a play like that."
Left-hander Eric Stults (3-2) handled the Marlins' hitters one night after Andrew Cashner and reliever Dale Thayer blanked Miami on four hits. Stults gave up a run on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings, striking out four and walking two. Thayer, Luke Gregerson and Anthony Bass combined to pitch a hitless 2 2/3 innings to seal the win.
"We had a good game plan tonight, and it worked out," Stults said. "I can't say enough about our defense. As a pitcher, knowing your guys behind you are going to make plays is huge."
The big homecoming envisioned by San Diego native Sanabia didn't turn out as planned. Pitching for the first time at Petco in front of friends and family, Sanabia (2-5) allowed four runs (three earned) on nine hits with two walks in 4 1/3 innings. He left with tightness in his right groin after striking out Yonder Alonso, but that wasn't what hurt most.
"Pitches up in the zone and whatnot," said Sanabia, who will be re-evaluated Wednesday. "Not exactly how I wanted it to go."
Chase Headley, who went 2-for-4, extended his hitting streak to 12 games. Jedd Gyorko went 1-for-2 with two walks, the 12th consecutive home game he's recorded a hit.
The Padres, though, had their string of stolen bases halted when Headley was thrown out in the fifth. It ended a run of 19 stolen bases in a row, but that was little consolation for the Marlins.
San Diego (15-18) captured its 10th win in its last 13 games and handed the Marlins (10-24) their second straight defeat.
San Diego scored a run in the first on Alonso's sacrifice fly to left, scoring Everth Cabrera.
Venable's two-run homer gave the Padres a 3-0 lead, and San Diego got another run in the inning when Cabrera singled home Alexi Amarista, who had doubled.
Ozuna, who had a six-game hitting streak snapped Monday, started another one with an RBI double to right with two outs in the fourth, scoring Matt Diaz to cut the deficit to 4-1.
Venable capped the scoring with a run-scoring groundout in the eighth.
NOTES: Headley is batting .391 with two homers, six doubles and seven RBIs during his hitting streak, which is tied for the second longest of his career. His best was a 16-game streak in 2011. ... Miami 2B Chris Valaika suffered a fractured left wrist after colliding with Alonso on a stolen base by the latter. ... The Marlins placed INF Donovan Solano on the 15-day disabled list today with a strained left intercostal muscle. INF Nick Green had his contract purchased from Triple-A New Orleans, and he replaced Solano on the 25-man roster. RHP Henderson Alvarez (shoulder) was transferred to the 60-day disabled list to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Green. ... San Diego INF Logan Forsythe, who hasn't played this season because of plantar fasciitis in his right foot, will start running Wednesday. ... Alonso and Cabrera have played in all 33 of the Padres' games.

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