Facing the Milwaukee Brewers has been another.
Venable and Hundley try to help the Padres match their longest road winning streak of the season Wednesday night against the Brewers.
San Diego (45-56) has broken out at the plate while winning four of six, batting .308 with seven homers and 34 runs. That equaled its scoring and home run totals over the previous 15 games, which included 14 losses and a .200 average.
The Padres' offensive turnaround continued Tuesday as they pounded out 15 hits in a 6-2 win at Milwaukee (41-58) after opening this four-game series with a 5-3 victory.
They last won three straight as the visitor during a series sweep of the Dodgers from April 15-17.
"There's no doubt there was a struggle," manager Bud Black said. "We didn't hit and we didn't pitch. Now, you're seeing better offensive outputs.
"It's no secret. It's good to see guys performing like they're capable of."
Black may be referring to Venable and Hundley, who each had a homer among their three hits Tuesday.
Venable is hitting .232 this season but is 8 for 21 with two homers over his past five games. Hundley is 8 for 18 with a pair of long balls and six RBIs over his last five contests.
"I know they say hitting is contagious or whatever, but it's just the ability to string together good at-bats," Venable said.
Venable's good fortune may continue. He has a .397 average in 18 visits to Miller Park, his best in any NL park.
Milwaukee's starters have surrendered seven runs and 12 hits over 9 2-3 innings in this series, but Kyle Lohse (6-7, 3.49 ERA) has won three of his last four starts versus San Diego behind a 2.63 ERA.
The right-hander earned a 7-1 road victory against the Padres on April 22, allowing one run in five innings.
A meeting at home may be beneficial to Lohse, who owns a 2.28 ERA while winning four straight starts there. He battled through his latest outing Friday, tossing 105 pitches in six innings of Friday's 2-0 win over Miami.
Lohse may not be expecting much help from the lineup, which has a .206 average over the past 11 games. The Brewers have mustered eight hits in this series, their first two games since the announcement of Ryan Braun 's season-ending suspension.
"We haven't really hammered the ball for a while," manager Ron Roenicke said. "Some of it is personnel, but I still expect a lot of these guys to have better at-bats."
O'Sullivan is looking to win for the first time since beating the New York Yankees on May 12, 2011. The right-hander, who spent all of last year in the minors, gave up two runs and six hits over five innings in a 10-1 loss to San Francisco on July 12 - his first start since Sept. 27, 2011.
|San Diego Padres|
|July 23, 2013||Carlos Quentin||Day-to-Day||Sore right wrist|
|July 20, 2013||Jason Marquis||15-Day DL||Strained right elbow|
|July 12, 2013||Kyle Blanks||15-Day DL||Left Achilles tendinitis|
|July 07, 2013||Yasmani Grandal||60-Day DL||Right knee sprain|
|June 22, 2013||Clayton Richard||60-Day DL||Left shoulder surgery - out for season|
|June 17, 2013||Everth Cabrera||15-Day DL||Strained left hamstring|
|July 23, 2013||Donovan Hand||Day-to-Day||Left game - bruised right hand|
|July 21, 2013||Carlos Gomez||Day-to-Day||Sore left elbow|
|July 09, 2013||Norichika Aoki||Day-to-Day||Left elbow tightness|
|July 07, 2013||Aramis Ramirez||15-Day DL||Sprained left knee|
|July 06, 2013||Aramis Ramirez||Day-to-Day||Left knee injury|
|July 02, 2013||Wily Peralta||Day-to-Day||Left game - left hamstring tightness|
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- In what has been a tough week, Kyle Lohse finally gave the Milwaukee Brewers a reason to smile.
Lohse gave up five hits in seven strong innings to lead the Brewers to a 3-1 win over the San Diego Padres on Wednesday night. It was the Brewers' first win since left fielder Ryan Braun was suspended Monday for the remainder of the 2013 season for violations of Major League Baseball's drug policy.
"We really needed a little bit of good news after this week," Lohse said. "We have to focus on the job we have to do. This season has not turned out the way I or anyone on this team thought it would. But we have to focus on the next two months and go out and win as many games as we can."
Lohse has been doing his part lately. He is 6-1 over his last 11 starts with a 2.51 ERA. The Brewers were 2-8 in Lohse's first 10 starts and 8-3 in his last 11 starts.
Lohse said he is feeling good on the mound and results have shown it.
"I am just focusing on what I am doing well," he said.
The other key Wednesday was all-star center fielder Carlos Gomez , who had four hits and drove in two runs.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said it looks as if Gomez is breaking out of a recent slump in which he had one hit in his last 10 at-bats.
"It looked like he was really on pitches tonight," Roenicke said. "When he is on his game like that, it is a big boost for the team."
John Axford pitched a scoreless eighth inning and Jim Henderson pitched the ninth to record his 11th save in 14 opportunities.
Sean O'Sullivan (0-2), making just his second start and third appearance of the season for the Padres, pitched 6 1-3 innings, giving up three runs on seven hits. He started in place of Jason Marquis , who is scheduled for Tommy John surgery.
San Diego manager Bud Black said Lohse was just too tough on the Padres.
"He did a good job on both sides of the plate," Black said. "He's been pitching well. The last number of starts for him have been outstanding, and he just continued that tonight. We couldn't capitalize on any mistakes he left out over the plate. We battled him. We just couldn't break through."
Nick Hundley hit Lohse's first pitch of the third inning for his eighth home run of the season to give the Padres a 1-0 lead. It was his third home run in his last six games. Hundley hit a two-run home run in Tuesday's game.
The Brewers came back to grab a 2-1 lead in the third inning. Rickie Weeks and Norichika Aoki led off with singles and Jonathan Lucroy walked. With one out, Gomez lined a double over the head of Padres center fielder Will Venable to score Weeks and Aoki.
The Brewers added a run in the seventh inning. Aoki was hit by a pitch and stole second base. He advanced to third on Gomez's single. Gomez tried to steal second and Padres Pitcher Dale Thayer first threw to third base.
Chase Headley then threw to second to get Gomez, but the throw hit umpire Bob Davidson in the back and rolled into center field. Aoki scored on what was ruled an error on Headley.
Black said the Padres executed the play the way he wanted them to, except for the umpire getting hit with the throw.
"Everybody did everything right," he said. "Unfortunately for us, Bob was in the way of a thrown ball. Would have been a close play, no doubt, but I would've liked to see how it would've ended up. Bob told me, obviously, that was the last thing he wanted to happen. He just didn't get out of the way of the ball."
NOTES: Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said he would use both Axford and Henderson to close games following the trade Tuesday of Francisco Rodriguez to the Baltimore Orioles . ... Brewers RHP Donovan Hand should be able to make his next start Sunday against Colorado. Hand was hit on his pitching hand as he attempted to bunt Tuesday against Padres RHP Tyson Ross . ... After missing Tuesday's game with a sore right wrist, Padres left fielder Carlos Quentin was back in the starting lineup Wednesday. ... RHP Edinson Volquez (7-8, 5.73 ERA) will start the final game of the series for the Padres Thursday against the Brewers' RHP Yovani Gallardo (8-8, 4.58).