Venable helps kick-start winning rally
MIAMI -- Of the three hits Will Venable had in Friday's 8-3 win over the Marlins, his favorite -- and certainly the most important -- was the one that traveled the shortest distance.
"I'll take a broken-bat hit any day," Venable said.
Especially when it kick-started a wild five-run 11th inning that propelled the Padres to victory.
Venable, oddly enough, had two hits in the inning, including an RBI single that drove in the final run as the Padres won for the 11th time in their last 15 games.
Funny thing, though -- some of the best at-bats of the inning were the ones when the Padres did not make contact.
Venable opened the inning with a soft single to right field, stole second base and advanced to third base as the throw from catcher J.T. Realmuto hit him and trickled into center field.
That's when things got a little nutty.
One out later, Marlins reliever A.J. Ramos walked the next three hitters he faced; the last free pass, to Yonder Alonso, sent home Venable with the go-ahead run.
The next Marlins' reliever, Andre Rienzo, walked Derek Norris to force in a run before Jedd Gyorko made it 7-3 with a two-run single.
"Awesome at-bats," Gyorko said. "Will got it started. That stolen base, you lose track of it when you score five [runs], but that started it. To be able to tack on those runs late was good."
Venable feels the stolen base was critical to the success of the inning as well.
"It put the heat back on them," he said. "With Matt [Kemp] and Justin [Upton] coming up, we were in a good spot there."
Interim manager Pat Murphy liked the way the Padres laid off some close pitches in that inning and worked deep counts.
"It was relentless," Murphy said. "[We were] winning pitches. Hopefully, that can continue."