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Shaky defense, no offense hurt Padres in 2-0 loss

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 9, 2014 at 4:35 pm •  Published: April 9, 2014

CLEVELAND (AP) — Pitching for the San Diego Padres isn't easy these days.

Eric Stults made that painful discovery in the first game of Wednesday's doubleheader against the Cleveland Indians. Stults' only major mistake came on Jason Kipnis' two-run homer in the sixth, while the Padres' offense struggled again in a 2-0 loss.

San Diego has lost six of seven and scored only 18 runs in eight games.

"I can only control what I can control and that's pitching," Stults said. "I can't do anything about the hitting side of things, so I mean I don't think that really changes my approach. I still want to attack the zone and get guys out. So to me, it's not an issue because my job is to pitch."

Stults (0-2) took a shutout into the sixth, but third baseman Alexi Amarista's throwing error was followed by Kipnis' first home run of the season.

San Diego's defense, which committed two costly errors in Tuesday's night's 8-6 loss, let Stults down in the sixth. Amarista fielded Nick Swisher's ground ball, but his throw was in the dirt, skipped past first baseman Yonder Alonso and bounced into the camera bay for a two-base error.

Kipnis, who signed a $52.5 million, six-year contract last week, hit the first pitch to right-center, where Venable barely missed a leaping grab.

Asked if the error impacted him, Stults said, "Maybe a little. I felt like I had a pretty good tempo, good delivery out of the windup going. I mean, you've still gotta execute pitches. I left a pitch up and Kipnis did what good hitters do."

Stults was pleased with the way he threw the ball despite of the loss. He kept the Indians off balance by mixing his pitches and using a changeup in the range of 75 mph at times. The left-hander allowed two runs — one earned — in 5 2-3 innings.

"The key was just to execute the game plan and try to get ground balls," he said. "For the most part I was able to do that other than really just the one pitch to Kipnis that he kind of got up in the air and carried out of here."

Zach McAllister (1-0) pitched 7 2-3 scoreless innings. He allowed five hits, struck out seven and didn't walk a batter.

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