The Padres spent three days at Coors Field, the ballpark that, since opening in 1995, has allowed the most runs in baseball, and scored 6 runs total.
So it did seem just a bit odd that the Padres came home to PETCO Park, the ballpark that, since opening in 2004, has allowed the fewest runs in baseball, and scored 9 runs on their first game.
But hey, we'll take it.
The Padres beat the Dodgers 9-3 in their home-opener (the 10th Opening Day held at PETCO). Will Venable had a monster day. He hit a long solo home run in the first inning, a ball that easily cleared the right field wall, moved in or not.
Venable also hit a bases loaded triple in the 8th inning, giving the Padres an 8-3 lead. Will drove in four runs. He did not have a single RBI in the first six games.
That 8th inning was darn near cathartic for a San Diego offense that had only scored 14 runs on its 1-5 road trip (2nd-worst in baseball). They sent 10 hitters to the plate and scored 5 runs, better than any single game on that dismal season-opening road trip.
Up until that inning, it was a close game.
Padres starter Clayton Richard only went 5 innings, but threw 99 pitches. He allowed at least one Dodgers baserunner in every inning, but only allowed two runs (on a Juan Uribe homer that flew over that new short right field wall, but would have been an out last season). Richard got a pair of double play balls to keep himself from further damage.
Catcher Nick Hundley had two of the game's biggest plate appearances. One was a solo home run in the 5th inning, a laser that landed in the Western Metal Supply Building in left field. The other came in the 7th inning, and didn't go nearly as far, but was just as important.
Cameron Maybin reached on a single, and Hundley executed a perfect sacrifice bunt to move him in to scoring position. Then, manager Bud Black went to the veteran.
Mark Kotsay came in to pinch-hit and ripped a Ronald Belisario pitch to the right-centerfield gap. Maybin scored easily on the double. Kotsay is now 6-for-10 on the season.
On the injury front, OF Carlos Quentin got hit in the hand by a pitch in the 7th inning. He left the game to get X-Rays. Black said he hadn't heard the word "negative" but that things were "looking good."
3rd baseman Chase Headley played catch and hit in the batting cage before the game. It's the first time since breaking his thumb in a Spring Training game that the Padres reigning MVP has been able to use his glove hand or swing a bat. Still no word on when he'll be ready to come off the disabled list.