Defense helps Despaigne, starters extend streaks

Venable hitting .408 since taking over in center field

Defense helps Despaigne, starters extend streaks

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

With the help of his defense, Odrisamer Despaigne pitched six shutout innings in Anaheim Tuesday night -- allowing the Padres to extend their streak of quality starts to eight straight games.

Will Venable robbed Angels center fielder Mike Trout of a two-run homer with a leaping catch at the center-field wall in the third. Justin Upton made another leaping catch at the left-field fence to take away a double and first baseman Yangervis Solarte caught a liner that would have reached the corner in right for at least a run-scoring double.

Those plays enabled Despaigne to complete six innings of scoreless ball. He allowed five hits and no walks with five strikeouts.

Over his last two outings, Despaigne has allowed two runs on 11 hits and two walks with nine strikeouts in 12 innings. In his two previous starts, Despaigne had allowed 15 runs on 20 hits and three walks in a total of eight innings.

Over the Padres' last eight games, the starting pitchers have allowed 14 earned runs in 51 innings -- an ERA of 2.47.

From the scorebook:

• Not only did Venable keep two runs off the board with his leaping catch, he was 2-for-4 with a run scored to continue his torrid hitting. Since first baseman Yonder Alonso went on the disabled list May 8 and Venable became the Padres' regular center fielder, Venable has hit .408 (20-for-49) with a .491 on-base percentage. He has two doubles, a triple, a home run, six RBIs and nine runs scored.

Must C: Venable robs Trout of HR

• The Padres' bullpen has a 3.18 ERA in May (25 earned runs in 70 2/3 innings) after posting a 5.35 ERA in April. Padres relievers have allowed one run over the last 10 2/3 innings.

• The Padres' four runs in the 10th inning Tuesday night marked the 17th time since the 1984 season that the Padres scored four or more runs in an inning beyond the ninth. It was the first time since 2010 that the Padres scored four or more runs in an inning beyond the ninth. Tuesday was also only the 10th time the Padres had batted around in an inning beyond the ninth -- and the first time since the 2009 season.

• Catcher Derek Norris was 2-for-4 and drove in the Padres' final run in the 10th inning Tuesday night. He is 7-for-28 since May 19 with two doubles and five RBIs -- the second-most RBIs during the span.