Ten days passed before Robbie Erlin stepped onto the mound for his first start of the season. The wait was worth it.

Faced with the prospect of a sweep to close a disappointing road trip, the 23-year-old left-hander paired six strong innings with a rare timely hit from his offense’s slumbering bats as the Padres escaped Progressive Field with a 2-1 win over the Indians in the second game of a doubleheader on Wednesday afternoon.

Chase Headley gave the Padres their first lead of the series on a soft single to left with the bases loaded in the sixth inning, Joaquin Benoit got three quick outs after Mike Aviles’ leadoff single in the eighth and closer Huston Street survived a shaky ninth to salvage a day that began with a 2-0 loss to the Indians.

Consider Erlin’s response to that – to all of it, really, as the Padres scuffled in opening the season with six losses in their first nine games – a big step his development.

“You look at today and how effective the change-up was, how effective the curve was and how he was pitching with confidence and pitching aggressively, it was great to see,” Padres manager Bud Black said. “Obviously, we needed a well-pitched game with how we’re swinging the bats and he stepped up after a tough loss in Game 1 to pitch us to victory.”