After returning home to Petco Park from a six-day roadtrip, the Padres beat the Dodgers 9-3, with Venable tying his career-high with four RBIs. The first came in the form of a powerful home run, which landed in the first row behind the iconic Jack Daniels Old No. 7 Deck on top of the new right field fence.
It is worth noting that because of Petco Park’s new configurations which brought in that right field fence a whole 11 feet, Venable’s homer would have fallen flat last season.
The Padres spent between $2.5 million and $3.5 million reconfiguring their ballpark to ensure plays like this would happen. The fences were brought in from the home run porch in the right-field corner to the right-center gap, as well as in the left-corner, in an effort to make playing in San Diego’s downtown location fairer for any team that visits the ballpark.
That’s not to say Venable’s success is entirely dependent on Petco Park’s new dimensions. Venable earned his three other RBIs by clearing the bases with a solid two-out triple in the eight inning. The Padres bounced back spectacularly from their road trip blunders with Venable leading the way. Over the final two innings, the team scored six runs against the Dodgers, set to the soundtrack of a screaming sold-out crowd.
Back in San Diego, the Padres regained their magic. Don’t call Venable a one-hit wonder, or even a four-hit one — hopefully, he and the rest of his teammates can replicate their performance when they do battle against the Dodgers once more on Wednesday at Petco.