PEORIA, Ariz. -- This was a little more like it, said Padres pitcher Eric Stults, who had his best start of the spring on Friday against the Angels.
Stults, who entered the game with an 11.37 ERA in three appearances, yielded one run on three hits and had four strikeouts in five innings of the Padres' 4-2 victory at the Peoria Sports Complex.
"This start was definitely an improvement," said Stults, who is projected to be the No. 5 starter in the rotation. "The first two starts, my tempo and rhythm just didn't feel right. Today I felt much better."
That is not entirely surprising for Stults, a left-hander who relies more on command and keeping hitters off-balanced than simply throwing the ball by them.
"For a guy like me, a finesse and feel guy, the more I get out there the better it seems I feel," he said.
Stults allowed one run in the first inning when J.B. Shuck tripled to right-center field and scored on a sacrifice fly by Grant Green. But he allowed two hits the rest of the way.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.