San Diego Padres (46-57) at Atlanta Braves (56-48), 5:05 p.m. (ET)
07/26/2014 11:20 AM
07/27/2014 10:43 AM
(SportsNetwork.com) - Eric Stults tries to avoid a 13th loss on Sunday when the San Diego Padres continue their four-game series with the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field.
Stults lost again on Tuesday in Chicago, as the Cubs reached him for three runs and six hits in five innings, dropping him to 3-12 on the year to go along with a 5.00 ERA.
"The first inning of a ballgame for me is the toughest," Stults said. "It took me a couple innings to settle in. I threw a lot of pitches, but I felt like getting through that first inning and allowing only one run was a victory for me.
"I don't know if they have my number. I've had a few really good starts, but just haven't been able to come out with the win."
Stults, who is 0-8 with a 5.43 ERA in 11 road starts, is 2-2 in seven games (3 starts) versus the Braves with a 2.48 ERA.
Atlanta, meanwhile, will counter with lefty Mike Minor, who has just one win since May 19. Minor lost for the fourth time in five decisions on Tuesday, as Miami battered him for six runs and 10 hits in just three-plus innings, dropping him to 3-6 on the year, while raising his ERA to 5.32.
"I had a good mindset coming in after the break," Minor said. "It was one of those things where you come in and you feel like this is a clean slate and we're going to try to have a good second half here. Then, I come out and give up [10 hits]. We scored five runs. We should have won the game."
It was the third time in his last eight starts that he was unable to complete five innings, during which time he's produced a 7.65 ERA.
"I am a little concerned because we've seen so much better than that and we've seen a couple of good outings and then one like tonight and then a couple of good outings, so we'll keep working, we'll keep trying to work it out because he's a big part, a big piece of our rotation right now," Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
Minor's struggles may continue on Sunday, as he is 0-2 in two starts versus the Padres with a 4.50 ERA.
Atlanta evened this series at a game apiece on Saturday, as Freddie Freeman had three hits and drove in a run to help the Braves to a 5-3 triumph. Julio Teheran (10-6) allowed three runs on nine hits and struck out five over six innings for Atlanta, which won for only the third time in its last eight tries.
"It wasn't the greatest tempo ever," Braves second baseman Tommy La Stella said of the game. "It's important when playing games like that to grind it out and come out on top."
Craig Kimbrel struck out the side in the ninth to notch his 31st save of the season.
Odrisamer Despaigne (2-2) surrendered five runs -- two earned -- on six hits and five walks over 3 2/3 frames for the Padres, who had a three-game winning streak stopped. Seth Smith went 3-for-3 and scored a run in defeat.
San Diego has beaten the Braves in eight of the last 11 matchups.
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