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The Padres went up against the division-leading Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday with two possibilities if they won: Gaining on the division leaders and sweeping their second series in a row. Behind the pitching of Clayton Richard and the power bats of Will Venable and Kyle Blanks, the Padres beat the Diamondbacks 4-1 and now sit only two games back in the National League West.

The game was a classic pitcher’s duel between two pitchers who are embattled for different reasons. Richard, because of his previous poor starts, and Ian Kennedy, who is appealing a ten game suspension because of a bean-and-brawl incident with the Los Angeles Dodgers last week.

Kennedy helped his own cause in the top of the third inning. With Cliff Pennington on third base, Kennedy hit a single up the middle and Arizona took the lead.

The Padres answered in the bottom of the third when Will Venable led off with his 9th home run of the season. The game remained tied 1-1 until the bottom of the eighth inning, when Kyle Blanks hit a three-run home run to left field.

For Blanks, it was his 8th home run if the season. With one out, Everth Cabrera singled, and after Alexi Amarista flew out, Chase Headley walked and Blanks smacked a 1-2 pitch off of reliever David Hernandez to give the Padres the lead.

Huston Street then came in and picked up his 13th save of the season. Clayton Richard went eight innings and gave up the run on seven hits with no walks issued.

It is the first time the Padres have been over .500 since the end of the 2010 season. The Friars now have six series sweeps this year.


Carlos Quentin was again not in the starting lineup for the Padres on Sunday, still suffering from some sort of a shoulder issue. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Everth Cabrera injured his hamstring attempting to steal second base. The type and severity of the injury is still unknown. If it were to be serious, it would affect the Padres in a big way. Cabrera leads the league in stolen bases and the Padres in batting average and on-base percentage, and his glove has been outstanding.

Monday, the Padres travel up to San Francisco to face the Giants. Edinson Volquez (5-5, 5.87) will take the hill for the Friars and go up against the Giants Barry Zito (4-5, 4.79). First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM PDST and can be heard on radio 1090 AM and seen via Fox Sports San Diego.

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