Stauffer's rough outing dooms Padres

Stauffer's rough outing dooms Padres

PHILADELPHIA -- The Padres have seen quite a bit of progress from Tim Stauffer, their first-round Draft pick in 2003 from the University of Richmond. But the bulk of that progress has taken place in the Minor Leagues.

Stauffer had pitched well enough over his last eight Triple-A starts to warrant being recalled to the Padres with his second start of the season on Sunday. The sharp righty, who was 5-1 with a 2.43 ERA over that span for Triple-A Portland, was not the same pitcher who was lit up for 11 hits and 11 earned runs in four innings in what turned out to be a 14-2 loss to the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

Ryan Howard and Chris Coste each connected for three-run homers off Stauffer, who allowed seven earned runs and three home runs in his first start July 29 at Houston. Stauffer saw his ERA climb from 17.18 to 21.13.

"I didn't feel too sharp," Stauffer said. "I didn't have very good stuff today."

Despite a cross-country trip, Stauffer said he was prepared for his start.

"I felt good going into the game," he said. "From the first pitch on, every pitch was a battle. It just wasn't my day."

Padres manager Bud Black didn't seem as discouraged as Stauffer.

"It looked as if his stuff was fine," Black said. "There were a couple of situations there where he needed an out and couldn't make the right pitch. He had been throwing the ball well at Portland. Obviously, this is the next level up."

Even with the lopsided loss, the Padres completed their road trip with a respectable 4-2 record, winning two of three against the Mets at Shea Stadium and the first two over the Phillies. As the Padres prepare for a huge four-game series against the National League West-leading Diamondbacks at PETCO Park beginning Monday, they'll quickly forget Sunday's outcome.

"We played some really good games at New York and here [in Philadelphia]," said Padres shortstop Khalil Greene, who was 2-for-4 in the finale. "We've been hitting the ball well and the pitching has been good. Today was a day where it went a different way. We're happy with how we're playing and we're going back home for an important series. Every game is important, and we have to just keep playing well together."

San Diego pitchers allowed 17 hits, including a career-high five by Jayson Werth.

Any possibility of a comeback was halted in the fourth. Trailing, 6-1, the Padres loaded the bases with no outs against Kyle Kendrick.

But Kevin Kouzmanoff flied out, Pete Laforest struck out and Stauffer grounded out to third base to end the threat.

Did Black ponder pinch-hitting for Stauffer in that situation?

"We were hoping that he was going to get through five innings based on the state of our bullpen," Black said. "If you go to the bullpen for six innings, it can wipe you out for the entire week."

Once the rally was thwarted, the Padres couldn't contain the Phillies' offense and the deficit soon became insurmountable.

"That game got away from us," Black said. "As the outs shrink, so does the hope. But I liked the way our guys kept playing."

Lost in the effort was a 10-hit performance, giving the Padres 82 hits over their past six games. If San Diego can continue to produce like that at home, it should have a distinct advantage with pitchers like Jake Peavy, Chris Young and Greg Maddux shutting down the opposition more often than not.

"We've gotten the pitching all season," Greene said. "Now that we've gotten consistent on offense, we can put the two things together. Our pitching keeps us in games, and with the offense heating up, we're confident."

Andy Jasner is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.