SAN DIEGO (AP) — Eric Stults appreciated the support his bullpen gave him, especially since he was just one of them.
Stults, elevated from the bullpen to the starting rotation, combined with four relievers on a five-hitter Monday night, lifting the San Diego Padres to a 2-0 victory over the slumping Chicago Cubs.
Stults (2-2) allowed all five hits 5 1-3 innings in his first start since June 3. He struck out five, walked two and had a wild pitch.
"Any time as a starter, when you leave the game with a lead, I feel pretty confident," Stults said about the Padres bullpen.
Brad Brach, Dale Thayer, Luke Gregerson and Huston Street combined for 3 2-3 innings without allowing a hit to finish San Diego's seventh shutout.
"Those guys make it easy to catch," Padres catcher Eddie Rodriguez said. "They were really unbelievable."
Street pitched the ninth for his 19th save.
"Those guys, they come to pitch," Padres manager Bud Black said. "There is a resiliency and a mindset that you come to pitch."
Yonder Alonso and Everth Cabrera both drove in a run and the Padres won for just the fourth time in 10 games. Chicago lost its sixth straight.
Carlos Quentin reached on a one-out double in the fourth inning and scored on Alonso's single. After Cameron Maybin doubled, Alonso scored when Cabrera's soft liner deflected off the glove of second baseman Darwin Barney for an infield single.
Chicago was not able to take advantage of the few scoring chances it had, going 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and stranding seven runners overall.
Stults, who last pitched in relief on Thursday, struggled with his command in the first inning. He allowed Barney's one-out double, then walked Alfonso Soriano with two outs before striking out Starlin Castro.
"That first inning was bad, kind of a grind," Stults said. "I threw a lot more pitches than I wanted to. After that I was able to get some quick outs."
Travis Wood (4-8) allowed two runs and five hits over six innings as he extended his career-high with his fifth straight loss. The left-hander struck out three and walked three.