MIAMI (AP) — Will Venable's two-run home run in the seventh inning broke a scoreless tie, Clayton Richard gave up five hits in six efficient innings and the San Diego Padres spoiled Florida interim manager Edwin Rodriguez's home debut by beating the Marlins 3-0 on Friday night.
Venable and Chase Headley each had two hits for the Padres, who've won four of their last five. Richard (5-4) won for the first time in his last six starts, although he has a 2.77 ERA during that stretch.
Hanley Ramirez had three hits for Florida, raising his average to .299. The rest of the Marlins went 4 for 27, with Ronny Paulino getting two of those hits.
Richard and Marlins starter Chris Volstad (4-7) each rolled through the first six innings, rarely getting into any sort of trouble. But in the seventh, Volstad — who had just retired nine straight Padres — flinched.
Headley hit a leadoff single, Venable followed with his seventh homer on a 1-2 fastball and Yorvit Torrealba followed with a sharp single to left. That was it for Volstad, who allowed seven hits and three runs after Torrealba scored later in the inning on Oscar Salazar's pinch-hit single to center.
Three Padres relievers finished the shutout, with Heath Bell working the ninth for his 20th save in 23 chances. Bell retired the first two Marlins, gave up a single to Paulino and then walked Mike Stanton, before ending the game by getting Wes Helms — the potentially tying run — to strike out swinging.
Venable went without a home run in a 45-game stretch between April 25 and June 19. He's hit homers in three of the five games since, and the Padres improved to 6-1 this season when he goes deep.
Rodriguez fell to 1-2 in his stint as Fredi Gonzalez's replacement. Bobby Valentine remains the frontrunner to replace Gonzalez on a permanent basis, although a person involved in the Marlins' search told The Associated Press earlier Friday that talks between the sides were "slowing down" temporarily.
One reason for that could be because the Marlins play a three-game series in Puerto Rico starting Monday. Rodriguez is a native of Puerto Rico and there is sentiment within the organization to allow him to manage that series against the Mets, Valentine's most recent major-league team.
No matter the manager, Florida's schedule has been brutally difficult in recent weeks. By the time this series against the NL West-leading Padres ends, the Marlins will have played 12 of 15 games against teams leading their respective division at the time.
So far, Florida is 4-6 in the first 10 of those matchups.
NOTES: Florida RHP Josh Johnson, who has allowed one run or less in each of his last eight starts, pitches Saturday. ... The Padres need two wins in the final five games of June for their sixth consecutive winning month. ... Marlins right fielder Mike Stanton, hitting just .218 with one home run coming into Friday, batted eighth for the first time. ... Volstad's bat flew out of his hands in the second inning, sending it up the third-base line. Headley thought about catching it before smartly stepping aside. ... Ramirez hasn't ended a day over .300 since May 28, but has raised his average 21 points in the last two weeks.