Eric Stults was mesmerizingly brilliant Friday night at Petco Park. The left-hander held the Arizona Diamondbacks to one run on two hits in the first complete game pitched by a Padre this season. Logan Forsythe tipped the pitching duel between Stults and Vista High grad Trevor Cahill in the Padres favor with a two-out, two-run, bases-loaded single in the sixth to give the Padres a 2-1 victory before 23,364 at Petco Park. The win pulled the Padres to within a win of .500 for the first time since the season’s third game and inched them to within four games of the National League West-leading Diamondbacks. The only hits allowed by Stults came at the start and end of the game – a game-opening double by Gerardo Parra that led to the Diamondbacks lone run and a one-out single to left in the ninth by Willie Bloomquist. In between those hits, Stults retired 25 of the 27 hitters he faced with streaks of 10 and 14 straight outs. “It was a masterful performance,” said Padres manager – and former major league pitcher and pitching coach – Bud Black. “He was outstanding. The wide range of velocities keeps the hitters off balance and disrupts their timing.” Stults issued one walk – which snapped a streak of 22 straight innings without a walk – while throwing 104 pitches. His velocity range was 27 mph, topped by several fastballs at 89 mph down to a curve that crossed the plate at 62 mph. “It’s great to watch Eric every fifth day,” said Black. “When they’re looking soft, he throws hard. When they are looking fastball, he throws soft.” “I felt like I was able to get a lot of quick outs,” said Stults. “My delivery was a lot better as the game went on. A guy like me who pitches to contact, I have to be able to throw all four pitches. I think as a hitter, not know what pitch I’m going to throw next, it’s difficult. “I wouldn’t say I try to trick guys. I try to keep them off balance.” Stults had a glove in his success. He tied a Padres record with assists on six comebackers in addition to catching a line drive off the bat of Cody Ross in the seventh. Stults got 13 outs on ground balls. Stults is 3-2 over his last six starts with a 2.18 ERA and 3-0 with a 1.15 ERA over his last four starts at Petco Park. Parra opened Arizona’s first with a double to right center that was just beyond the reach of Padres right fielder Will Venable. He advanced to third on an infield out and scored on a sacrifice fly by Ross for Arizona’s only run.
Padres win 2-1 on Stults 2-hitter
San Diego Union-Tribune | Jun 15