San Diego Padres pitcher Eric Stults gave up home runs to Los Angeles Dodgers’ Adrian Gonzalez and Scott Van Slyke, and rookie Yasiel Puig's pinpoint throw from right field completed a game-ending double play in San Diego's 2-1 loss against Los Angeles on Monday night.
San Diego put the potential tying run on first when Chris Denorfia walked with one out in the ninth. But Brandon League got Kyle Blanks to fly out to right and Puig fired to first base to double off Denorfia.
"You don't see that play very often," Padres manager Bud Black said. "Deno reacted well, hustled back, but I think the play was made by the strength of the arm and the accuracy of the throw."
Stults (4-5) gave up six hits, struck out three and walked none.
"I'll take that every time from every one of our starters," Black said. "If you do that night in, night out, this team is going to win a lot of games."
Gonzalez homered into the Padres' bullpen with two outs in the first inning. Van Slyke made it 2-0 in the second with a leadoff homer.
"I think that's where he likes the ball. It was probably just the wrong pitch selection there," Stults said about Gonzalez. "Tonight was a tough loss but we battled."
The Padres cut it to 2-1 in the sixth on Chase Headley's RBI single that scored Alexi Amarista, who doubled. They had won five straight games at Dodger Stadium dating to last season, including a three-game sweep from April 15-17.
The Padres also threatened in the eighth when Everth Cabrera singled and stole second with one out. But Kenley Jansen retired the next two batters to end the inning.
"We couldn't sustain anything," Black said. "We've talked about that as a group, the ability to string hits together, but we just couldn't do it."
Stephen Fife (1-0) allowed one run and five hits in 5 1-3 innings to earn his first major league win. The right-hander was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque earlier in the day to replace left-hander Chris Capuano, who was scratched because of a strained left triceps.
Fife made the second consecutive spot start for the injury-riddled Dodgers after Matt Magill filled in for Hyun-Jin Ryu in Sunday's 7-2 loss at Colorado. The 26-year-old right-hander made one previous start for Los Angeles on April 21 against Baltimore, resulting in a no-decision.
League pitched the ninth for his 12th save in 15 chances.
Puig batted leadoff and went 2 for 4 with two singles, including one in his first at-bat in the majors that drew high-fives from his new teammates. The 22-year-old Cuban defector also was brought up on the same day left fielder Carl Crawford went on the disabled list with a strained hamstring.
"I didn't see any video on him as far as his minor league at-bats so there wasn't a whole lot of scouting work there," Stults said. "He's one of those guys that you just kind of feel out and see his approach, then attack him from what you see in his early at-bats."
Based on reporting by The Associated Press.
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