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D'Backs take their swings against Stults in San Diego
(Sports Network) - Don't expect Run-D.M.C.'s hit single "Walk This Way" to play through the speakers of Petco Park with Eric Stults set to take the mound on Friday night.
Not with the control the veteran left-hander has displayed this season, an attribute Stults will look to flash in the opener of a three-game set against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Stults has walked two or fewer in all but one of his 13 starts this season and has not issued a free pass in 22 straight innings spanning his last three starts. That helped him win for the first time in his last four outings on Saturday as he picked up a 4-2 victory in Colorado.
The 33-year-old has gone at least seven innings in three straight and four of his last five starts, logging seven versus the Rockies. Stults was charged with two runs -- one earned -- on seven hits, moving to 5-5 on the season with a 3.53 earned run average.
"There have been a lot of starts like that as of late from Eric," said Padres manager Bud Black told his team's website afterwards.
Stults is 3-3 with a 4.58 ERA in eight career meetings with Arizona, including six starts. He fell to .500 against them with a road loss on May 24, yielding four runs over 6 1/3 frames.
Stults will try to extend San Diego's current momentum, which features a victory in six of the last eight games. The Padres finished off their first sweep of the Atlanta Braves in eight years with Wednesday's 5-3 win to close out a three-game set.
"They're a really good team and a solid organization," Black said of the Braves. "So to win three games, it's a huge pat on the back for our guys."
Chris Denorfia and Logan Forsythe both drove in two runs and Edinson Volquez rebounded from a rough outing his last time out to the hold the Braves to a run over seven innings with a season-high nine strikeouts.
The Diamondbacks hope that Trevor Cahill can straighten himself out in a similar way tonight.
Cahill has lost three straight decisions and each of his last two starts. The right-hander allowed five runs over five innings in a loss at St. Louis on June 3, then logged a season-low 3 2/3 frames in a 10-5 setback to the San Francisco Giants on Saturday. He gave up a season-high eight runs as well as nine hits.
"It's the ups and downs of a season. We'll try to get him straightened around for his next start," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "He didn't have a lot of movement on his sinker. He didn't have good stuff."
Cahill, 25, fell to 3-7 with a 4.02 ERA in 13 starts this season and will face the Padres for the first time in 2013. He is 2-2 against them in his career over five starts with a solid 2.64 ERA.
Arizona had lost four of six, including Tuesday's brawl-marred setback to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Diamondbacks, though, rebounded to win the three-game set with Wednesday's 8-6 victory in 12 innings.
Martin Prado began a four-run top of the 12th for Arizona with a run-scoring ground-run double, while Cliff Pennington drove in a run with a single and Gerardo Parra plated two with a base hit in the frame.
Josh Collmenter pitched two scoreless innings to earn the win before handing the ball over to Heath Bell, who made the game closer than the D'backs would have liked.
Bell gave up a leadoff homer to Ramon Hernandez and later yielded a run- scoring ground out before putting the tying run on base with a walk. However, he got pinch-hitter Tim Federowicz to hit into a game-ending fielder's choice.
Diamondbacks starter Patrick Corbin surrendered four runs on eight hits in his shortest outing of the season, lasting just five frames. After winning seven straight decisions, Corbin hasn't been able to reach the 10-win mark with no- decisions in his last two starts.
"I felt alright," Corbin said. "My job as a starter is to keep us in the game but I wish I could have gone longer. The main thing is we got the win."
Arizona and San Diego have split six meetings this season.
06/14 10:52:43 ET
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