Eric Stults pitched a complete game, his first since 2009, and gave up just one run and two hits to lead the San Diego Padres to a 2-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks. It marked the fourth consecutive victory for the Padres, as well as the team’s first complete game of the season.
While the Padres celebrated the fifteenth anniversary of the 1998 team that went to the World Series, the 2013 Padres continue to show signs that they can compete for the division. Despite good pitching by Arizona’s starting pitcher Trevor Cahill, who struck out ten Padres in 5.2 innings, San Diego’s hitters were patient and took advantage when Cahill tired in the 6th inning. After loading the bases with Padres, Logan Forsythe hit a two-run single that would turn out to be the only runs scored by San Diego in the win.
Although Stults pitched a gem, the talk after this game will be about his fielding. He spent much of the game fielding ground balls and line drives in an impressive display of defensive skill.
Kyle Blanks has struggled since the team returned from Colorado. He is 1-for-13 over that span, striking out seven times. Unless he can right the ship quickly, he could be sent to the Padres’ AAA affiliate in Tucson once Yonder Alonso’s hand heals.
The Padres are now 4.0 games behind Arizona for first place in the NL West, trailing the Colorado Rockies by 1.5 games and the San Francisco Giants by 2.5 games.