SAN DIEGO -- After missing two games with an abdominal injury, Padres outfielder Will Venable returned to the San Diego lineup Wednesday, batting leadoff and playing center field against the D-backs.
"Will is back, he feels good enough to play," Padres manager Bud Black said. "He wants to play and he's motivated to play. He's like most players, when they're on the bench and they're not able to help, that's a bad feeling."
Although the nagging pain that has bothered him for a few weeks subsided enough for him to play Wednesday, the injury isn't completely healed and won't be until he can rest it in the offseason.
"There is some discomfort there, but he can play through it," Black said. "Will wants to get back on the field the last five games, he wants to help us win games."
Making his 147th appearance this season on Wednesday, Venable needs to play in two more contests over the final four games of the schedule to break his career-high of 148 games set last year. The 30-year-old leads the Padres in almost every offensive category including hits (125) and home runs (22).
Black confident Cedeno will return this year
SAN DIEGO -- Although Padres infielder Ronny Cedeno remained out of the lineup Wednesday for the second consecutive day, still trying to shake off the effects of being hit in the head with a pitch on Monday, manager Bud Black sounded confident the 30-year-old will play again sometime over the final four games of the season.
"He's moving around a little better," Black said. "Hopefully, he'll get back in there."
Cedeno left Monday's game after D-Backs reliever Heath Bell hit him on the side of the helmet in the seventh inning with an 89-mph pitch. Before sitting out the last two games, he played every day since Aug. 27, hitting .286 with two homers and eight RBIs over that span.
"Whatever term you want to use, I guess the simplest term is his head hurts, he's got a headache," Black said. "There is still some ramifications from being hit that are not quite over, so we'll try to stay away from him tonight."
• The Padres finalized their rotation for their last five games of the season on Wednesday. After Ian Kennedy and Robbie Erlin close out the series with the D-backs, San Diego will send Burch Smith, Eric Stults and Tyson Ross to the mound in San Francisco to face the Giants.
• The Padres need three more victories this season to match their win total from a year ago when they went 76-86.
Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.