The beginning of the San Diego Padres‘ 2013 season could not have started much worse than it did. After six games, the Padres had only one win and the offense was ranked as one of the worst in baseball in all significant hitting categories.
The Padres offense needed someone to step up and get the team going in the home opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers. On Tuesday, the Padres received the breakout performance they needed in the form of outfielder Will Venable in a 9-3 win today.
Venable started his big day in the first inning off Dodgers starting pitcher Josh Beckett. Venable launched a Beckett fastball for a solo home run over the right field wall, on the very first pitch he saw for a 1-0 Padres lead.
Venable drew a walk in the fifth and was intentionally walked in the seventh, before coming up in the bottom of the eighth with the bases loaded. Venable hit a 1-1 pitch from Dodgers left-hander J.P. Howell to deep center, clearing the bases and giving the Padres an 8-3 lead. He would later score on first baseman Yonder Alonso’s infield single for the game’s final margin.
On the day, Venable reached base four times in five plate appearances, which included the aforementioned triple, a home run, two runs scored and four RBI.
This was a huge day for Venable, whom the Padres will be counting on this year to provide a quality left-handed bat in the order, especially while third baseman Chase Headley and catcher Yasmani Grandal remain out of the lineup.