SAN DIEGO - Petco Park has never looked so good to the San Diego Padres, and not just because the fences are no longer so far away.
Will Venable homered and hit a bases-loaded triple for the Padres, who rebounded from a dreadful six-game trip to win their home opener 9-3 against the rival Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday at their reconfigured downtown ballpark.
Ex-Arizona Wildcats catcher Nick Hundley also homered off Josh Beckett for the Padres, who were outhomered 10-1 and outscored 40-14 in going 1-5 in a swing through New York and Colorado.
"We were all excited to be home and looking forward to playing a good game," Venable said. "We wanted to be aggressive and we made all the plays we were supposed to today and it worked out for us."
Or, as Mark Kotsay put it after a long spring training and two games against Texas at San Antonio, then six road games to open the season: "It was starting to get hard to find a pair of clean underwear."
Venable tied his career-high with four RBIs. He homered in the first and his two-out triple highlighted a five-run eighth against three Dodgers relievers. The Padres sent 11 to the plate that inning, and five walked.
Hundley homered leading off the fifth off the facade of the balcony on the second level of the Western Metal Supply Co. brick warehouse in the left-field corner for a 3-2 lead.
Juan Uribe of the Dodgers was the first player to benefit from the closer fences. He hit a two-run shot that landed on top of the new fence in right in the fourth, tying the game at 2.
The Padres spent between $2.5 million and $3.5 million to bring in the fences in an attempt to make the spacious downtown park play a little fairer. From the right-field porch to the right-center gap, the fence was moved in from 402 feet to 391 feet and lowered to just under 8 feet, matching the rest of the outfield wall.
In left-center, the fence came in from 402 feet to 390 feet. That allowed the visiting team's bullpen to be relocated from right-field foul territory to behind the home bullpen.