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Stults pitches Padres to 7-1 win over Cubs

By JASON P. SKODA
Associated Press
  •  

MESA, Ariz. (AP) Eric Stults pitched effectively into the sixth inning and Tommy Medica hit a two-run homer off Carlos Villanueva, sending the San Diego Padres to a 7-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Monday night.

Stults gave up a leadoff triple to Emilio Bonifacio, who scored on a groundout, and allowed two more runners in the first inning but avoided further damage. The left-hander settled down from there, yielding five hits in 5 2-3 innings with one walk and three strikeouts.

''The last two starts he has thrown the ball well,'' Padres manager Bud Black said. ''The first part of spring he didn't feel real comfortable with his release point and he wasn't finishing his pitches. He wasn't quite getting out over his right side, but I think he cleaned that up in a couple of bullpen sessions and took it out to the game.''

Medica, a first baseman, continued his push for a roster spot with his third home run, which broke a 1-all tie in the fourth. Medica is hitting .349 and leads the team in hits (22), runs (10) and homers.

Seth Smith and Everth Cabrera both had two hits for the Padres

Villanueva gave up three runs on three hits and three walks in four innings. He struck out three.

''I feel good and can't wait to get this thing started,'' he said. ''At this stage in my career, I feel ready for the season.''

Bonifacio and Welington Castillo, who doubled in the sixth, had the only extra-base hits for the Cubs before a crowd of 15,126 at their new spring training ballpark.

STARTING TIME

Padres: Projected as San Diego's fourth starter, Stults also got out of a jam in the third after allowing singles to Donnie Murphy and Anthony Rizzo with one out.

''That's his trademark, his steadiness and consistency,'' Black said. ''We need that out of him again. Last year he threw over 200 innings and it would be fantastic if he did that again.''

Cubs: Villanueva hasn't been told yet if he'll be a starter or a reliever. He has 18 strikeouts in 15 2-3 innings this spring, but his ERA is a lofty 6.35.

''My stuff is crisp,'' he said. ''I feel if I get a guy to two strikes right now that I'm getting to the point where I am confident that I am going to get him out.''

TRAINER'S ROOM

Padres: Outfielder Chris Denorfia, sidelined with a sore right shoulder since Thursday, is expected to return to game action this week, Black said.

Cubs: Shortstop Starlin Castro came through a minor league game without any setbacks. He reacted to all the balls in play - although he didn't have any hit to him - without any discomfort. Castro also had an RBI single and ran the bases hard without a problem.

It was a nice result on his 24th birthday as he continues to prepare for next Monday's season opener in Pittsburgh.

''I feel great, really good,'' said Castro, sidelined since he strained his right hamstring on March 2. ''I tried to do all the moving, and I feel pretty good.''

BIG BOPPER

Junior Lake needed a confidence boost. A three-homer game, like the one he had Sunday against Oakland, will do just that.

Lake, who asked for more at-bats in minor league games, was struggling this spring to show the promise he displayed in his first taste of the big leagues last year, when the outfielder batted .284 with six home runs and 16 RBIs in 64 games.

''I work every day to be prepared,'' said Lake, hitting .250 with three home runs and nine RBIs this spring. ''I've been seeing more pitches (in minor league games) and it helped me get ready.''

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
San Diego

S. Smith
AB 2
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
Chicago

E. Bonifacio
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 0
RBI 0
 

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San Diego Padres
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Everth Cabrera, SS3120101 .264
   Daniel Robertson, LF0000000 .111
Will Venable, CF4101122 .213
   Stephen Carmon, SS00000001.000
Chase Headley, 3B4011012 .286
   Tim Stauffer, P0000000 .000
   a-Brooks Conrad, PH1000010 .000
   Dale Thayer, P0000000 .000
   Huston Street, P0000000 .000
Carlos Quentin, LF4010023 .152
   Alberto Gonzalez, PR-3B1000000 .143
Jedd Gyorko, 2B4110022 .269
Seth Smith, RF2122100 .310
   Hunter Renfroe, RF1000111 .000
Tommy Medica, 1B4112005 .349
   Rene Rivera, 1B1000011 .333
Nick Hundley, C3110104 .324
Eric Stults, P3000012 .000
   Alexi Amarista, 3B-LF-CF1110000 .262
Totals367106511  
a-struck out for Stauffer in the 8th
Batting
2B - Chase Headley (3, Veras), Carlos Quentin (3, Grimm), Seth Smith (3, Villanueva), Nick Hundley (3, Grimm)
HR - Tommy Medica (3, Villanueva)
SH - Everth Cabrera (1)
RBI - Will Venable (6), Chase Headley (4), Seth Smith 2 (4), Tommy Medica 2 (8)
2-OUT RBI - Tommy Medica 2 (4)
SB - Everth Cabrera (3, 2nd base off Veras/Castillo)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Gyorko-Cabrera-Medica
E - Chase Headley (1, Throwing)
San Diego Padres
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Eric Stults (W,2-1) 5.2511130 5.29
Tim Stauffer (H,2) 1.1200010 2.16
Dale Thayer (H,1) 1000010 2.25
Huston Street 1000020 0.00
HBP - Rizzo (by Eric Stults)
Pitches-Strikes - Eric Stults 32-27, Tim Stauffer 8-8, Dale Thayer 5-5, Huston Street 7-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Eric Stults 7-6, Tim Stauffer 1-2, Huston Street 1-0
Batters Faced - Eric Stults 23, Tim Stauffer 6, Dale Thayer 3, Huston Street 3
Chicago (N.L.) Cubs
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Emilio Bonifacio, 2B4110002 .250
   Arismendy Alcantara, 2B0000000 .200
Donnie Murphy, SS3011001 .200
   Brian Schlitter, P0000000 .000
   Chris Coghlan, LF1000001 .229
Anthony Rizzo, 1B3010001 .366
Justin Ruggiano, LF3000013 .297
   Ryan Kalish, CF1000000 .278
Nate Schierholtz, RF3010012 .237
   John Baker, C1000010 .286
Welington Castillo, C2010102 .269
   John Andreoli, RF1000000 .000
Ryan Sweeney, CF3000002 .077
   Justin Grimm, P0000000 .000
   Hunter Cervenka, P0000000 .000
   Neil Ramirez, P0000000 .000
   a-Jacob Hannemann, PH1000010 .000
Ryan Roberts, 3B3000020 .257
   Jeimer Candelario, 3B1000010 .000
Carlos Villanueva, P1000000 .000
   Jose Veras, P0000000 .000
   b-Willson Contreras, PH10100001.000
   Chris Valaika, SS1010000 .222
Totals3317117  
a-struck out for Ramirez in the 9th
b-singled for Veras in the 5th
Batting
2B - Welington Castillo (2, Stauffer)
3B - Emilio Bonifacio (4, Stults)
RBI - Donnie Murphy (2)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Valaika-Bonifacio-Rizzo
E - Jeimer Candelario (1, Throwing)
Chicago (N.L.) Cubs
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Carlos Villanueva (L,1-1) 4333331 6.32
Jose Veras 1322110 7.88
Brian Schlitter 1100030 1.29
Justin Grimm 1.1322100 8.59
Hunter Cervenka 0.2000010 0.00
Neil Ramirez 1000030 0.00
WP - Hunter Cervenka (1)
HBP - Gyorko (by Jose Veras)
Pitches-Strikes - Carlos Villanueva 35-22, Jose Veras 13-8, Brian Schlitter 10-10, Justin Grimm 10-6, Hunter Cervenka 5-4, Neil Ramirez 10-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carlos Villanueva 3-6, Jose Veras 1-1, Justin Grimm 3-0, Hunter Cervenka 1-0, Neil Ramirez 1-0
Batters Faced - Carlos Villanueva 18, Jose Veras 8, Brian Schlitter 4, Justin Grimm 7, Hunter Cervenka 2, Neil Ramirez 4
Game Information
Attendance - 15126
Game Time - 3:06
Temperature - 79
Umpires - Home - Dan Bellino, First Base - Bill Miller, Second Base - Brian Knight, Third Base - Lance Barrett