The magnificent pitching the majority of the San Diego Padres’ pitching staff has encountered, has finally rubbed off on Eric Stults. Entering the game, Stults was coming off the best start of the season, having gone 6 2/3 innings, not allowing a single run and only a pair of hits to the Atlanta Braves. Tonight, he picked up right where he left off, and the lineup gave him just enough support–albeit in the first inning, to pick up another win, and for the Padres to even the weekend series with the Pirates, with a 2-1 victory.
Stults went 6 1/3 innings tonight, picking up both the quality start and the victory, striking out 6 Bucs, and allowing only 1 earned run on 7 base hits. The hot-hitting Jedd Gyorko and Yasmani Grandal provided the one inning of offense to push the Friars over the top. Not a single member of the Padres had more than one base hit, but scoring on a Gyorko RBI-double and a Grandal sac fly was more than enough. Stults gave one run right back in the bottom half of the first, and that was all she wrote for offense from both teams.
The bullpen combination of Alex Torres, Nick Vincent, Kevin Quackenbush and closer Joaquin Benoit, combined to shut out the Pirates over the final 2 2/3 innings, with Quack allowing the only two hits the rest of the way The Pirates are missing the impact bat of reigning NL MVP Andrew McCutchen, who will continue to sit as he rests a pulled oblique muscle that he suffered earlier last week.
The Padres’ offense resembled more of the first half Padres, racking up four whole hits, but getting the needed run support for the victory. The Bucs, had 9 total hits, and only the one run, coming on a first inning RBI-single from Russell Martin that scored Josh Harrison.
The Padres and Pirates complete their three-game series tomorrow, with the first pitch slated for 10:35 a.m. PDT. The Friars will try and win another second half series, by sending Tyson Ross (10-10, 2.62 ERA) to the mound to take on Pittsburgh’s Charlie Morton (5-10, 3.43 ERA). The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports San Diego.
Keep the Faith.