PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) Eric Stults had his best outing of spring training, allowing one run over five innings, and Nick Hundley homered in the San Diego Padres’ 4-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Friday.
Stults allowed three hits and struck out four.
”My tempo and rhythm hadn’t felt right,” said Stults.
Stults has proven to be a solid pickup for the Padres after he was claimed off waivers from the Chicago White Sox during 2012. He posted an 8-3 record and a 2.92 ERA in 18 games with the Padres in 2012 and went 11-13 with a 3.93 ERA in 2013.
Los Angeles starter Tyler Skaggs made his third spring start and allowed three runs and eight hits with four strikeouts.
Hundley hit his second homer of the spring off Skaggs in the second, a solo shot.
”He had a couple of good swings today,” San Diego manager Bud Black said of Hundley, who hit 13 homers in 373 at bats in 2013.
Hundley and Ryan Jackson had RBI singles in the fourth off Skaggs.
Jedd Gyorko hit his second spring homer off Los Angeles’ Fernando Salas in the fifth.
Angels: Skaggs was coming off four shutout innings against Cincinnati in his second start. He went more to his curveball in Friday’s start, a pitch he says is his bread-and-butter pitch.
”My fastball command was pretty good today,” Skaggs said. ”I threw a lot of first-pitch strikes. When the (curve) is going good, everything goes good. I was close to a few double plays today. Three times groundball went through the infield.”
”His second time around his fastball was elevated a bit too much,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ”He’s got a terrific arm. He’s growing and he’s learning. He’s not the finished product.”
Skaggs, 3-6 career with a 5.43 ERA over 13 major league starts, could be competing Joe Blanton for the final rotation spot with the Angels.
”I think it’s going good and I’m healthy,” Skaggs said. ”I’m having fun and that’s the important thing. I get to put on this uniform every day.”
Padres: Stults told reporters that for a finesse pitcher like him it was important for him to find his rhythm.
”He’s been off to a bit of a tough start,” Black said. ”Today he was more like it. His fastball, he located throughout the game much better than other games.”
Black’s appeal of a call at first base was overturned by replay. Black said the Hawkeye system was put in play for the first time in Peoria and the Padres’ replay people running the camera based technology relayed to Black to challenge the call.
Los Angeles’ Matt Long bunted in front of the plate. Stults picked it up and fired to first and first base umpire Lance Barrett called Long safe. Black challenged the call and Long was ruled out. The time of the replay was under two minutes.
”Our guys in the booth executed the challenge,” Black said.
While Albert Pujols, Mike Trout and Howie Kendrick among others stayed back at camp, Scioscia’s starting lineup vs. the Padres Friday featured players that are in the fight to make the big club, aside for Hank Conger, who is expected to at least make the team as a backup catcher.
The winner on the day would have to be J. B. Shuck, who went 3 for 4. Shuck’s top competition, Collin Cowgill, was 0 for 4, and Matt Long also was 0 for 4.
Shortstop Grant Green went 1 for 2 while middle infielder Andrew Romine went 0 for 2.