SAN DIEGO(AP) Rookie
is standing out in a crowded outfield.
With a quartet of young Padres outfielders vying for playing time, Venable has made his mark with his bat and his glove.
Venable had an RBI single and made another spectacular catch to save a run and back solid pitching by fellow rookie
, leading San Diego to a 4-1 win over the
on Tuesday night.
The Padres also got a sliding catch from center fielder
that saved another run.
''I can't say enough about the plays we are making, especially in the outfield,'' Padres manager
said. ''You're seeing speed make a difference in the outfield.''
Richard (4-1) carried a shutout into the seventh inning before he gave up a solo homer to
with two outs. The outing was his most impressive since coming over from the
Chicago White Sox
trade on July 31.
Richard was hammered in his last start when he gave up six runs on nine hits over 2 1-3 innings in a 9-1 loss at Atlanta on
''Making quality pitches early in the count was the big thing,'' Richard said of the main difference between the two games.
''Over there, they kind of ambushed me a little bit. Some of the plays made behind me were amazing.''
Venable has turned in defensive gems in three consecutive games, including his diving catch in right-center field Tuesday
of a hit and a potential run in the sixth with the Padres holding a 2-0 lead.
''I didn't initially think that I would get to it,'' he said. ''At the last second, I thought I might be able to lay out and
Richard said those defensive plays are a big boost to a pitcher and acknowledged that Venable's catch ''was a big surprise.
I thought there was no chance he was going to be able to get to that.''
Gwynn then robbed Zimmerman in the eighth inning with a sliding catch in center that ended the inning with a runner on second.
''They are making good plays and it's just one of those times where it looks like everything we hit gets caught,'' Zimmerman
In Monday night's game against Washington, Venable threw out
when he tried to stretch a single into a double. And he made a diving catch on a drive by
that saved two runs from scoring in Sunday's game at Florida.
''We're taking pride in trying to make sure that not a lot drops in there,'' Venable said. ''We are trying to challenge each
other to do our jobs.''
Richard allowed one run on four hits in 6 2-3 innings. The lefty struck out six and walked two.
pitched the ninth inning for his 33rd save in 36 chances to complete the four-hitter.
Bard's homer to left field cut the Padres' lead to 2-1. Richard was replaced by
, who retired pinch-hitter
on a line drive.
San Diego beat the Nationals for the 30th time in 39 games and has won 14 of 18 times at Petco Park against them, dating to
2004 when they were the Montreal expos.
The Padres have won six of eight and handed Washington its fifth straight loss and its 12 in 15 games.
had a pinch-hit homer leading off the seventh to increase the lead to 3-1 and knock out rookie J.D. Martin (3-4). Pinch hitter
added an RBI single in the eighth.
hitting a pinch-hit homer on Monday night, it was the first time San Diego has hit pinch home runs in consecutive games since
Aug. 8-9, 2002.
Salazar left Monday night's game after he bruised his left knee when he slammed into the pitcher's scoreboard in left field
while making a spectacular over-the-shoulder catch.
Venable had an RBI single in the second that scored
, who led off with a double. Kouzmanoff added a sacrifice fly in the fifth.
Martin gave up three runs - two earned - on five hits in six innings. The right-hander walked five and struck out three.
NOTES: Nationals SS
missed his second straight start with bunions on his foot. Guzman, scheduled to also sit out Wednesday's finale of the three-game
series, grounded out as a pinch hitter. ... Padres rookie RHP
will likely make his final start of the season on Saturday at the
Los Angeles Dodgers
since he has already more than doubled the number of innings he's thrown in either of his first two minor league seasons.