PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona’s offense went quiet against San Diego left-hander Eric Stults. His two hits just added to the pain of another Diamondbacks home loss to the Padres.
The Diamondbacks had three singles and one walk in Stults’ seven innings in a 5-0 loss on Friday night. Stults, meanwhile, drove in three runs with a pair of two-out hits.
“He was good,” Arizona’s Chris Johnson said. “He was working in, working out. His change-up was pretty good then he started throwing that slow curve ball the second time and third time we faced him. When a guy throws multiple pitches like that for a strike, it keeps you off balance and we couldn’t stay back and get anything going.”
While Stults’ hits will get most of the attention, “really the game tonight was how he pitched,” manager Bud Black said. “It really was. He had command on all four pitches and changed speeds on the fastball, which he does, had the Diamondbacks off balance.”
The range of speed in Stults’ pitches, Black said, was from 66 mph to 91 mph.
Stults (4-2) allowed three singles, struck out four and walked one. He singled in two runs in the second and doubled home another in the fourth.
Arizona rookie Patrick Corbin (5-5) said he knows he can’t take an out from the opposing pitcher for granted.
“As a pitcher you are just trying to put the bat on the ball and both times he found a hole and got the ball through and drove in some runs,” Corbin said. “That is not something I want to do, go out there and let up on a pitcher. I just left some pitches up to him.
Chris Denorfia hit a solo home run off Corbin in the third and brought another run home with a sacrifice fly in the seventh.
The Padres, coming off a three-game home sweep of Pittsburgh, have won five in a row. They are 4-0 at Arizona this season. The Diamondbacks fell seven games behind first-place San Francisco in the NL West.
“We have to get things going,” Johnson said. “There is not much time left. There is a sense of urgency and that is why it is a little frustrating not getting anything going.”
Nick Vincent and Tommy Layne each pitched an inning to complete the shutout.
The Diamondbacks fell to 2-3 halfway through a 10-game home stand. San Diego outhit Arizona 13-4.
After Chris Young opened the Arizona first with a line-drive single off the glove of third baseman Chase Headley, Stults retired 11 in a row before Paul Goldschmidt drew a two-out walk in the fourth. The only other runners to reach against the San Diego left-hander were Chris Johnson and Gerardo Parra, who singled to start the fifth.
“There were some line drives that were hit and were hit at guys,” Stults said. “Especially for me, to go deep into games, that has to happen.”
Stults provided himself with a 2-0 lead in the second.
Singles by Yasmani Grendahl and Yonder Alonso, followed by a two-out walk to Everth Cabrera loaded the bases in the third, Stults singled to bring two runners home before Cabrera was caught in a rundown on the play to end the inning.
After Denorfia’s opposite-field shot, just his fifth homer of the season, made it 3-0, Stults contributed again in the fourth. Cameron Maybin doubled and, with two outs, Stults doubled to the gap in left-center to bring the runner home.
Corbin, who had been 3-0 in four starts since returning to the rotation, finished the inning but that was it. He allowed four runs on nine hits, striking out two and walking one.
“He didn’t have very good stuff,” Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. “He wasn’t locating well. His pitches were up.”
Goldschmidt made a standout unassisted double play at first in the opening inning. With Denorfia on base with a single, Goldschmidt lunged to catch Logan Forsythe’s line drive, then in the same motion made a sweeping tag of the runner. He got the third out of the inning unassisted as well on a ground ball.
NOTES: Gibson says LHP Tyler Skaggs will remain with the big league club after his impressive debut on Wednesday. The youngster will be part of what, for now, is a six-man rotation, including three lefthanders. … Stults improved his season batting average to .375 (6 for 16). Playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers, he had two RBIs in 2008 and two in 2009. … The Padres are 4-0 at Arizona this season but 2-4 at home against the Diamondbacks. … San Diego can match its longest winning streak of the season at six games with a win on Saturday night. … The Diamondbacks have lost five of their last six series openers.