- Associated Press - Sunday, June 20, 2010

SAN DIEGO | Falling behind by four runs in the first inning didn’t bother the San Diego Padres.

Will Venable hit a three-run homer, dashing Jake Arrieta’s bid to win his first three big league starts, and the Padres rallied to beat the Baltimore Orioles 9-4 on Sunday.

Venable tied his career high with four RBIs and Nick Hundley homered and drove in three runs for the NL West leaders, who took two of three from the struggling Orioles.

Jon Garland and three relievers combined on a six-hitter for San Diego. Garland (7-5) retired his last 14 batters and snapped a three-start losing streak. The Orioles had only two baserunners after the second.

There was an initial sense of dejection as the Padres came off the field after the top of the first, but they got one run back on Adrian Gonzalez’s RBI double in the bottom of the inning.

“I think what’s helped us big-time in that situation is that we have so many comeback wins, so there’s never any give-up,” Garland said. “Guys know, like, hey, we can get them at any point during the game. Being able to do that leading up to this point is kind of a mental ease when you know you’re capable of doing it. We didn’t try to do too much. Guys took their hits, sacrificed guys over, just playing the game. If you do it right, good things are going to happen.”

The Orioles led 4-3 in the third when Venable drove a hanging pitch from Arrieta down the right-field line to put the Padres up by two. It was his fifth home run.

David Eckstein opened the inning with a double and scored on Hundley’s one-out single. Scott Hairston walked ahead of Venable’s first homer since April 24 at Cincinnati.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve been feeling good, and that’s more important than the home run,” Venable said. “I’m not worried about that. I just want to get back and start contributing.”

Arrieta (2-1) was gone after three innings, having given up five earned runs and five hits while walking three and striking out none. The prized rookie beat the New York Yankees 4-3 in his big league debut June 10, pitching six innings of four-hit ball. He won 4-1 at San Francisco on Tuesday.

Baltimore (19-50), which has the worst record in the majors, hasn’t won consecutive games since winning three straight from May 12-14. The Orioles are 0-10-1 in road series this year.

“We put ourselves in a really good position to win the series,” Arrieta said. “They came out and scored four in the first inning. I just didn’t hold up my end of the bargain today. I felt like I could do a good job of pitching deep in the game. Unfortunately, I didn’t have it.”

His big mistake was hanging a changeup to Venable.

“It was probably not a good pitch selection,” Arrieta said. “That’s the one pitch that kind of put a damper on the outing. I just really floated it up there and put it over the plate.”

Venable added an RBI single in the fifth off Mark Hendrickson.

Hundley hit a two-run homer off Frank Mata in the seventh, his fifth. Adrian Gonzalez was aboard on his third double, which tied his career high. Gonzalez scored twice and drove in a run. The two-time All-Star has hit safely in 17 of 20 games, raising his average from .261 to .310.

Garland allowed four runs and five hits in six innings, struck out three and walked two.

Baltimore scored four runs in the first. After Garland loaded the bases by allowing two singles and a walk, Adam Jones hit a routine grounder to third. Lance Zawadzki hesitated before throwing to first, allowing Jones to reach and Corey Patterson to score. Zawadzki originally was charged with an error, but the official scorer changed it to a single after the game. Matt Wieters then cleared the bases with a three-run double to left-center.

NOTES: There were three Hall of Famers at the ballpark: Orioles broadcasters Jim Palmer and Eddie Murray, and former San Diego great Tony Gwynn, who spent Father’s Day watching his son, Tony Jr., play for the Padres. … Padres 3B Chase Headley, who’s struggling at the plate, got the day off. … San Diego OF Matt Stairs, on the disabled list with a strained right knee, probably will take batting practice Tuesday but won’t be ready to play in a three-game series at Tampa Bay. … SS Everth Cabrera, on the DL for the second time this season with a strained right hamstring, could be ready to return in three days. … Padres reliever Luke Gregerson walked Wieters leading off the seventh to snap his streak of 110 batters faced without issuing a walk. That was a record for Padres relievers and the most by a San Diego pitcher since Greg Maddux went 244 batters without allowing a walk from July 28 to Sept. 18, 2007.

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