The San Diego Padres will move in portions of their outfield wall to try to increase scoring at Petco Park, which allowed the second-fewest home runs of any Major League Baseball stadium in each of the past two seasons.
In left-center field, the fence will be moved to 390 feet from 402 feet, while the wall from the right-field porch to the right-center field gap will be lowered and moved 11 feet closer to home plate. The distances down the foul lines will remain the same, the team said.
There were an average of 1.35 homers a game at Petco Park during the 2012 season, with only San Francisco’s AT&T Park allowing fewer home runs. The Padres hit .233 at home over the past two seasons and .251 on the road.
“Our goal is to move Petco Park away from being the most extreme run-suppressing ballpark in Major League Baseball,” Padres Executive Chairman Ron Fowler said in a statement. “After an extensive study, it became clear to all of us that some change was needed. Petco will still be a pitcher’s park; however, it will no longer be the outlier.”
The New York Mets moved in the fences at Citi Field by as much as 12 feet this past season and the average number of homers per game at the stadium increased to 1.91 from 1.33.
The Padres have missed the playoffs each of the past six seasons and finished fourth out of five teams in the National League West Division this year with a 76-86 record.
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