SAN DIEGO -- While it ultimately came in a losing effort, Padres' outfielder Will Venable's diving grab in the 11th inning of Friday night's game was one of the best plays of San Diego's season to date.
According to Venable, that grab was also one of the best of his baseball career.
"It was up there just because of the situation," Venable said. "It was nice for us to be able to continue that inning tied, as opposed to down ... it extended the game a little bit."
The game might not have gotten to that 11th inning had the Rockies' Tyler Colvin not made a nearly identical diving grab in a similar spot down the right-field line just innings earlier. But while Padres manager Bud Black might be a little biased, he thought Venable's game-saving grab was even more impressive.
"Their guy made a great play," Black said. "But I think our guy made a better one."
Venable's came on a slicing line drive off the bat of shortstop Marco Scutaro. Had the ball hit the grass, Dexter Fowler, who had just followed up a single with a steal of second, would almost certainly have scored the go-ahead run for Colorado. But Venable tracked the ball and plucked it out of the air just before it hit the ground, sending his team to the bottom of the inning with a chance to win, rather than a need to tie.
"When I saw the ball off the bat, I knew it was going to be down and away from me a little bit," Venable said. "I knew I'd have to get over there, and fortunately I was able to make the play."
Stults activated from DL to provide help in 'pen
SAN DIEGO -- After using five relievers Friday night and six in Saturday night's 12-inning marathon, the Padres reinstated left-handed pitcher Eric Stults from the 15-day disabled list to take the pressure off the tired arms in their bullpen Sunday.
Righty Nick Vincent, who pitched 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief in Saturday night's game, was optioned to Tucson to make room for Stults.
"We felt as though we needed some length out of our bullpen. With Stultsy, he gives us that," Padres manager Bud Black said. "The bullpen's been a little taxed the past couple days. He's a fresh arm to help us in the next day or two."
Stults had been on the DL retroactive to June 4 with a strain of his left lat. Prior to the injury, the 32-year-old was 1-2 with a 3.33 ERA in four starts with San Diego.
Stults threw 6 2/3 innings over the course of two rehab starts with Tucson, and was scheduled for another rehab start this weekend. But despite the fact that his rehab has been, presumably, cut short, Black said the Padres are confident he is physically ready to pitch Sunday, if needed.
"He's full strength, Black said. "He threw here in front of us in a simulated game situation, made two Minor League starts where his pitch count got up to 75 pitches. Our reports we got from his last start were very solid."
Padres outfielder Chris Denorfia is out of Sunday's starting lineup with some soreness in his left shoulder. Denorfia was jarred when he dove for a ball in left-center field in Saturday night's game. San Diego manager Bud Black said the team will be evaluating Denorfia's availability throughout the game, as the soreness doesn't seem to be anything significant.
Denorfia is hitting .339 over his last 39 games, and is 6-for-14 so far on this homestand. He's started 39 games in right field, eight in left, and three in center this season.
Center fielder Cameron Maybin is absent from the starting lineup again Sunday with a sore right wrist. Maybin was scratched from Wednesday's game with the soreness, something that has plagued the 25-year-old throughout the season.
Maybin came on to pinch-run for Carlos Quentin in the eighth inning of Saturday night's game, and went hitless in one at-bat. His absence from the starting nine was expected, as manager Bud Black said he thought the soreness may keep Maybin out all weekend.
Chelsea Janes is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.