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04/19 Padres Preview: Game 18 vs. Giants

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Denis Poroy

Our offense is off to a rocky start this season, but some lights-out pitching lately has kept them afloat. Eric Stults hopes to keep that trend going tonight in the second game of the series.

Stults surrendered four runs on nine hits in a five-inning start over the Rockies on Monday. The Padres went on to win in a crazy comeback but Stults got a no-decision, so he will still be seeking his first victory of the season when he takes the mound this afternoon. He is 0-2 on the season, giving up five runs in four innings against the Marlins in his 2014 debut, then getting the tough-luck loss against the Indians after allowing only two runs (one earned) in 5 2/3 innings.

Last year Stults led the team in both innings pitched and wins. Two of those wins came against the Giants, whom he saw six times in 2013. He also lost twice against them and posted a 5.91 ERA in those six starts. He especially struggled against Hunter Pence, who hit 6-for-17 with two home runs off him last year. Pablo Sandoval has also given Stults trouble in the past, batting a lifetime 12-for-22 against the left-hander.

While Stults tries to keep the Giants at bay, Tim Hudson will try to build off the strong start to his 2014 season. The righty has pitched into the eighth inning in each of his three starts. Over 23 innings, he's kept opponents to seven runs and a .185 batting average, collecting 16 strikeouts while not issuing a single walk. The Giants pitching staff as a whole currently have the fewest walks allowed in the majors. Hudson has been successful against the Padres, going 5-1 with a 1.75 ERA in his last eight starts against them.

See if Eric Stults can lead the Padres to a victory tonight to clinch their second series win of the season.  The action starts at 5:40 PDT.