Venable sets Petco record with 15th homer
SAN DIEGO -- Outfielder Will Venable was surprised to hear about the record he set on Friday when he hit his 15th home run of the season at Petco Park.
In 2008, former Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez hit 14 homers at Petco, which opened in 2004.
"I hadn't given it much thought until now. I didn't know that was a record," Venable said. "I don't know if that's a lot or not. For me, I know it's a lot."
Venable has hit a career-high 21 home runs this season. His previous high was 13, set in 2010.
His record-setting homer, which started Friday's game, was the eighth leadoff home run of his career and his first since June 10 of last season. The eight leadoff homers are a franchise record, as he surpassed the seven that Quilvio Veras hit from 1997 to 2000.
Venable doesn't doubt that he's been helped to some degree by the fence modifications made to the ballpark before this season. Still, as he said, it's always been a tough place to elevate a ball.
"My first at-bat here, I crushed a ball that I was sure was a home run," he said. "It hit the base of the wall. Even though I had heard about how tough it was for hitters, I had to see it."