Scott Ellis 4:30 a.m., Sept. 17
Padres dominate Diamondbacks and win fourth in a row
With Eric Stults on the mound, the Padres didn't need much offense to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks
Eric Stults did something on Friday night that no Padres pitcher has accomplished this season, which was to throw a complete game. Behind Stults, the Padres defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks, 2-1.
Giving up the run on just two hits and a walk, Stults effectively shut down the Diamondbacks who are consistently 3rd or 4th statistically in the National League in team offense. The Diamondbacks still hold on to first place in the National League West, a game and a half in front of the San Francisco Giants and two and a half games in front of the Colorado Rockies, with the Padres now only four games back.
The Diamondbacks scored their run in the first inning, when Stults gave up a double to open the game and a sacrifice fly eventually brought the runner home. Arizona didn’t get another hit off of Stults until the ninth inning, and that base runner was stranded.
The Padres got both of their runs on a single by Logan Forsythe, which plated Chase Headley and Alexi Amarista. Diamondbacks pitcher Trevor Cahill was somewhat unlucky to run into Stults in his start, as he struck out ten Padres for a career high.
Stults dominated Arizona, commanding his curve, fastball, and change-up. While the fastball only tops out in the middle 80 MPH range, the curve ball goes in the middle 60’s and the change-up in the middle 70’s, and the Diamondbacks were guessing wrong all night.
The win does a lot for the Padres. Aside from cutting in to the lead the Diamondbacks still possess in the division, it puts San Diego only a game under the elusive .500 mark, and makes them the hottest club in the National League having gone 7-3 in their last ten games.
The Padres made a move on Friday that was either surprising or not surprising depending on how you view it. The club traded with the Red Sox for utility-man Pedro Ciriaco, offering Boston a player to be named later or cash considerations. This is surprising when you consider that Jedd Gyorko will be back at some point and there will be a glut of infielders and the club will be forced to make yet another move to get the roster back down to 25 players. It isn’t surprising if you consider that they want to win now and are willing to cross that next bridge when they come to it. Ciriaco has played every position in the major leagues except for pitcher and catcher. He has a lifetime batting average of .287 but struggled this season in Boston. If you believe in statistics, then he’s a bit of a project, with a 4:1 strike out-to-walk ratio while lacking the power to justify that stat, but his glove is historically good and sometimes a change of venue is just what the doctor ordered. The corresponding move sent Jaff Decker back down to AAA Tucson to balance the 25-man roster, and James Darnell was designated for assignment from that same affiliate to get the 40-man roster righted.
Huston Street was recalled from the 15-day disabled list (left calf) and the Padres optioned Tommy Layne back down to AAA Tucson. Street threw an inning of rehab at Lake Elsinore and reported no issues. Layne was good in the few innings he pitched with the big club and will undoubtedly be back up at some point.
Saturday, the Padres and Diamondbacks go at it again, but previously scheduled starter Clayton Richard was set back a day so instead the Padres will go with Jason Marquis (8-2, 3.59) to face Wade Miley (4-5, 4.89) of the Diamondbacks. Note the special Saturday game time of 7:10 PM PDST, broadcast on radio 1090 AM and televised on Fox Sports San Diego.
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