San Diego, CA (Sports Network) – Clayton Richard pitched six strong innings and the San Diego Padres used a pair of two-run homers to defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 5-0, in the opener of a three-game series.
Richard (12-5) allowed three hits and struck out eight batters while Will Venable and Chris Denorfia provided the bulk of the offense for the Padres, who have won two straight and seven of their last nine games overall. Ryan Ludwick added an RBI in the victory.
Rodrigo Lopez started on the hill and suffered the loss for Arizona, which has dropped six of its last eight games. Lopez (5-12), who has lost his last five decisions, surrendered five runs on nine hits over 4 1/3 innings pitched.
The Padres maintained their 5 1/2 game lead atop the NL West.
San Diego opened the scoring in the second inning. Chase Headley led off with a double and scored when Venable belted a fastball over the wall in right field.
Another two-run blast, this one in the bottom of the fourth, gave the Padres a four-run advantage. Venable drew a two-out walk before Denorfia drilled his ninth homer of the season.
Richard worked around a two-out double in the top of the fifth and the hosts added another run in the bottom of the frame on an RBI single by Ludwick.
After Richard got three straight outs following a leadoff walk in the sixth, Ernesto Frieri took the mound for the top of the seventh. Frieri yielded a one-out single to Ryan Church but Stephen Drew grounded out before Padres reliever Joe Thatcher came in and struck out Kelly Johnson.
Tim Stauffer tossed a 1-2-3 eighth for San Diego and Edward Mujica finished off the shutout in the ninth.
San Diego has won nine of the 13 games in the season series versus the D’Backs…Richard has won three straight starts and five consecutive decisions…Lopez fell to 2-6 in road starts this season…This was the 16th shutout of the season for San Diego…Venable stole his 25th base of 2010.