SAN DIEGO -- The Chicago Cubs rolled to a big first-inning lead in San Diego. Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there.
The Padres stormed back for an 8-6 victory Friday night after spotting the Cubs a 6-0 edge, thanks to Will Venable's three hits and three RBIs. Venable's biggest knock was a tiebreaking solo homer in the seventh.
Starter Edwin Jackson, whom the Padres courted in the offseason, was unable to take advantage of the early cushion, allowing six runs, five earned, and 10 hits in six-plus innings. He is winless in his last four starts.
"If you can't hold a six-run lead, it's real disappointing," Jackson said. "The guys come out in the first inning and do a great job of giving me enough run support to which you should be able to go through the game. You don't get that done, it's just a terrible job, a terrible job of protecting the lead."
Cubs manager Dale Sveum didn't mince words.
"They beat our butts the last eight innings," he said.
Jackson said he beat himself with questionable command.
"It was just location," he said. "They were over the plate and hanging. They weren't necessarily bad pitch selections it was just location."
Jedd Gyorko homered twice and drove in a career-high four runs as the Padres rallied after a dreadful start. Chase Headley and Logan Forsythe had two hits apiece.
Nate Schierholtz hit a three-run homer in Chicago's six-run first inning, but that was all the scoring for the Cubs.
Nick Vincent (3-1) pitched a scoreless inning for the win and Huston Street got three outs for his 25th save in 26 chances.
It was a remarkable turnaround from the first inning, when San Diego appeared to be headed for a long night when the first eight batters reached against Edinson Volquez.
Leadoff batter Starlin Castro reached on a throwing error by third baseman Headley, moved to second on Anthony Rizzo's single and scored on Dioner Navarro's base hit. Schierholtz then connected for his 19th homer to make it 4-0.
Brian Bogusevic added a two-run triple as Volquez was lifted after only recording two outs, matching the shortest start of his career. The right-hander was 5-0 with a 2.76 ERA in seven career starts against the Cubs.
San Diego responded with three in the fourth on Gyorko's 15th homer, a drive to center on a 1-1 pitch from Jackson. Venable added a two-run triple of his own in the fifth, and the Padres were right back in the game.
"You can't throw big league hitters balls down the middle," Sveum said of Jackson.
Venable went 3 for 4 and is batting .373 (31 for 83) with six homers and 12 RBIs in his last 21 games.
Forsythe came up with a tying triple in the seventh, and Venable put San Diego ahead to stay with his 18th homer against James Russell (1-5). Gyorko greeted Blake Parker with a drive to right on his first pitch of the eighth, providing an insurance run.
Jackson allowed six runs, five earned, and 10 hits in six-plus innings. He is winless in his last four starts.
Tim Stauffer pitched 4 1-3 innings of one-hit ball in relief of Volquez. The Padres' bullpen threw 8 1-3 shutout innings in the win.
NOTES: Rizzo batted second in the order for the third straight game, a spot he hadn't hit in before Wednesday, when he slugged two home runs. ... The Cubs go against a left-handed starter in the Padres' Eric Stults (8-10) on Saturday. It breaks a 15-game streak of facing a right-handed starter. ... Padres OF Carlos Quentin will test his balky right knee by running on Saturday. Quentin has been on the DL since July 31. Manager Bud Black said if the news isn't positive regarding Quentin, an operation is a possibility. ... Padres OF Kyle Blanks will be sent out on a rehabilitation assignment on Saturday. Blanks had been sidelined by a left Achilles injury; he's been on the DL since July 12. Blanks will go to Triple-A Tucson or Single-A Lake Elsinore.