SAN DIEGO (AP) — Eric Stults finally rewarded manager Bud Black's faith in him by continuing the San Diego Padres recent pitching dominance.
Stults pitched seven effective innings and snapped a nine-start winless streak as he combined with two relievers to threw the Padres' second consecutive shutout in a 2-0 win over the San Francisco Giants on Saturday.
Stults (3-11) won for the first time in nearly two months and snapped a six-start losing streak as he allowed just four hits to the scuffling Giants.
"I have been in the game long enough to understand that as a pitcher, or even as a position player, you have times where you are going to hit streaks where you are not throwing good or are not getting the breaks," Stults said. "You just have to realize that those things will hopefully pass and just keep working on things."
Stults turned in the lastest gem by a Padres staff that has been lights out over the past two weeks.
In its last 15 games, San Diego pitchers have an overall ERA of 1.54 and the team has gone 10-5. The starters own a 1.92 ERA, the lowest in baseball over that span, while the relievers have allowed just two earned runs in 35 2-3 innings for a 0.50 ERA.
Stults followed Tyson Ross' three-hit gem in Wednesday's 3-0 win over Cincinnati with the club's third shutout in four games and the fourth in 10.
"There is no doubt that there is momentum in pitching," said Padres manager Bud Black. "That puts pressure on the next guy."
Alexi Amarista homered and Chase Headley drove in a run as he went 4 for 4 to give Stults and the bullpen all the runs necessary to run San Diego's win streak to a season-high five games.
Stults won for the first time since a 9-3 victory over Miami on May 10 as he struck out six and allowed two walks.
Black revealed that he considered pulling Stults from the starting rotation during the winless drought but backed off.
"(Pitching coach) Darren (Balsley) and I talked about it but we didn't talk about it for very long because we know what he brings in terms of the stability, the preparation," Black said. "From my perspective, there was a point where I thought it might do him some good to miss a start of two, but it never materialized."
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