Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/18/13
This season has afforded the Padres few positives. Sunday's 4-3 walk-off victory over the Mets featured at least a couple even if they represented small triumphs amid a larger grimmer picture. For starters New York ace Matt Harvey was done after just 86 pitches for a team mindful of its 24-year-old prodigy's accumulating workload. The Padres were not beaten by Harvey against whom they mustered seven scoreless innings in an April defeat. Nor were they hurt by Eric Stults who rebounded from one of his worst outings of the year. Stults departed after serving up a mistake on Andrew Brown's tie-breaking double in the seventh but the lefty still compiled 6 2/3 quality innings opposite a Cy Young candidate. Yet no recent development has been more welcome than the emergence of Will Venable. The unassuming outfielder reached for a low slider from Pedro Feliciano and blasted it launching the 1-2 offering into the right-field stands in the bottom of the ninth at Petco Park. The Padres celebrated their sixth walk-off win of the season as they secured a four-game split with the Mets. "Will's amazing" Stults said of Venable who went 2-for-5 with a pair of RBIs while extending his career-best hitting streak to 15 games. "He’s kinda carrying our team right now. When he comes up to bat we’re expecting him to do something and today he did it." Venable's team-leading 17th home run doubled as his first career walk-off homer. An inning earlier he'd delivered a similarly crucial blow to the Mets. Tracking a deep drive in the eighth Venable snagged Marlon Byrd's potential solo shot along the centerfield wall. Venable is hitting .377 (23-for-61) during his hitting streak. Since the All-Star break he is hitting .370 (37-for-100). "Seems like we talk about him almost every night" Padres manager Bud Black said. "He's playing hard and he's being rewarded. I'm proud of him because he comes in every day fresh." Sunday's decisive hit was preceded four spots down in the order by a key hit from a struggling batter. With the Padres trailing by a run in the eighth Chase Headley hooked a double down the right-field line to put runners on second and third. Headley batting fifth for the first time this season had gone 0-for-3 until that point. "It was a change-up down" Headley said of the pitch from Gonzalez Germen. "I faced him the other night and he's got a really good change-up one of the better ones I've seen so I just tried to fight off some tough pitches before that."
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