Stults helps own cause in strong outing in win

Stults helps own cause in strong outing in win

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Padres rode a strong performance from starter Eric Stults and a four-run fourth inning to beat the D-backs, 6-2, on Tuesday afternoon at Salt River Fields.

Stults, who projects to be San Diego's No. 4 starter, tossed six solid innings, scattering four hits as he held the D-backs to two runs.

"You saw four pitches, both sides of the plate and elevates when he has to," Padres manager Bud Black said of Stults. "He made his pitches."

With Wade Miley having to throw in an intrasquad game Monday, the D-backs were left without a starter for Tuesday, so closer J.J. Putz pitched the first inning with setup men Heath Bell and David Hernandez pitching the second and third innings, respectively.

Evereth Cabrera led off the game with a triple to center and scored when Will Venable followed with a groundout to second.

The Padres broke the game open in the fourth against Minor League left-hander Andrew Barbosa.

Yonder Alonso started things off with a one-out homer to right-center. It was Alonso's third homer of the spring, all of which have come in his last six games.

Cody Ransom, who is making a push to make the roster after the injury to Chase Headley, later doubled down the line to score Nick Hundley and Stults helped his own cause with a two-run single to give the Padres a 5-0 lead.

The D-backs got on the board in the fifth when a groundout by Willie Bloomquist scored Paul Goldschmidt and Gerardo Parra later tripled in a run to cut the San Diego lead to 5-2.

Up Next: The Padres return to Peoria for a 1:05 p.m. PT game on Wednesday against the Giants. Two pitchers trying to make the Opening Day roster -- Andrew Cashner and Tim Stauffer -- will each throw multiple innings. Cashner is scheduled to throw three innings. Stauffer is set to throw four. Cashner still has a shot to crack the starting rotation, though the exhibition season and chances to build his stamina and endurance before the opener on April 1 are running out. In his last outing, Cashner allowed one run in 3 1/3 innings, striking out three.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.