Eric Stults pitched seven-hit ball into the seventh inning and Will Venable hit a two-run homer and drove in three runs, leading the resurgent San Diego Padres to a 5-1 win over the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night.
Stults (3-2) walked two and struck out four in 6 1-3 innings as the Padres won for the 10th time in 13 games. San Diego, which began the season 5-15 and has won eight of its last nine at Petco Park, improved to 15-18.
The Marlins have lost five of seven and have the second worst record in baseball at 10-24.
The Padres touched up Miami starter Alex Sanabia (2-5) for four runs in the first two innings, highlighted by Venable's bizarre two-run homer, his fourth of the season. Sanabia, who is from the San Diego area of Chula Vista, left the game with one out in the fifth with right groin tightness and will be reevaluated Wednesday.
In the second, Venable hit a fly that confused everyone. Marlins right fielder Marcell Ozuna backed up for what he thought was routine fly ball. Venable hesitated out of the box as he jogged down the first base line. Ozuna then threw up his hands and shook his head looking for the ball that landed seven rows up in the right field porch.
Everth Cabrera then drove home Alexi Amarista, who had doubled, with the third run of the second inning.
In the first, Cabrera walked, moved to third on a single by Chase Headley and scored on a sacrifice fly by Yonder Alonso, who also had two singles and also stole a base.
Marlins second baseman Chris Valaika injured his arm on Alonso's stolen base in the ninth. Alonso slid into Valaika as he was trying to catch the throw from catcher Miguel Olivo.
Alonso scored the final run a grounder by Venable.
The Marlins scored in the fourth on a leadoff double by Matt Diaz and a two out single by Ozuna.
Dale Thayer, Luke Gregerson and Anthony Bass pitched scoreless ball in relief of Stults