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Venable, Baker go deep to back Richard's start

Venable, Baker go deep to back Richard's start
PEORIA, Ariz. -- In their final outings of the spring, Justin Masterson and Clayton Richard each turned in five innings of quality work on Thursday as the Padres downed the Indians, 6-4, thanks in large part to Will Venable's three RBIs.

Masterson, who will pitch against the Blue Jays on Opening Day, allowed two runs on six hits while striking out seven in his appearance. The right-hander finished his spring by giving up just three combined earned runs over his final 10 innings.

"It was good to have a Spring Training almost like the way you're supposed to have a Spring Training," Masterson said. "There were some struggles here and there, but each time I was getting a little bit better and a little bit better in order to build up for when you go."

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Richard, who will make his regular season debut April 3 against the Mets, surrendered three runs (one earned) on five hits while striking out six. His success on Thursday let the southpaw end his spring on a high note after he gave up a combined 10 earned runs on 16 hits in his previous two outings.

"He got a good workout in, he's ready," manager Bud Black said. "He was a little spotty today, but I saw enough good things to believe he'll have a good outing Wednesday."

Venable put the Padres on top in the third inning with a sacrifice fly before the Indians responded in their next at-bat, taking the lead when Drew Stubbs drove home a pair on a single after an Everth Cabrera error.

Jason Kipnis added a solo home run in the fifth, his second of the spring, to extend Cleveland's advantage to 3-1.

After the Padres closed the gap to one in their half of the fifth, John Baker and Venable each smacked a two-run homer off Indians closer Chris Perez to give San Diego a three-run lead. Thursday was Perez's second appearance since returning from a shoulder strain that kept him sidelined for the majority of the spring.

Up next: The Padres pack up and leave Peoria to head to San Antonio for a two-game exhibition series with the Rangers beginning Friday at 5:05 p.m. PST. Eric Stults will take the mound for San Diego in his final tune-up going up against Alexi Ogando for Texas. The Padres still need to determine who their fifth starter will be between Tyson Ross and Andrew Cashner. Ross appears to be the choice as of now. Carlos Quentin will look to get more reps in as he hopes to begin the season on the active roster after struggling through knee issues this spring.

Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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