Associated Press -By locking in to the fastball, Will Venable sets himself up for the breaking balls. And when those pitches come, particularly up in the zone, he hasn't been missing many.
Venable drove in the first of San Diego's two runs in the first inning and hit a two-run homer to cushion the lead, helping the Padres avoid a three-game sweep with a 5-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday night.
Venable has been on a tear since August started, putting together a 15-game hitting streak and a current run of eight straight games.
Against the Diamondbacks, he hit a run-scoring single off Wade Miley (9-9) in the first inning and later scored on Jesus Guzman's single. With the game still close in the eighth, Venable helped give the padding San Diego needed, lifting a two-run homer off Heath Bell to become the first Padres outfielder to hit 20 homers in a season since Mike Cameron in 2007.
Guzman also hit a solo homer, and Robbie Erlin (2-2) was sharp in his return to the majors, holding Arizona to a run and six hits. Miley was effective after his early troubles, but the Diamondbacks gave him little support, stranding 10 runners while going 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
Willie Bloomquist had three hits, drove in a run and made some tough plays at shortstop in his first game off the disabled list for Arizona, which had its five-game home winning streak end.