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CLE@SD: Stults fans two over four strong frames

Going back as far as last week, Padres manager Bud Black was looking for ways to get two left-handed pitchers to throw during this series in Cleveland.

He probably didn't envision both of them, Eric Stults and Robbie Erlin, starting on the same day, which will be the case when the Padres and Indians face off in Wednesday's doubleheader. The second game will start roughly 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game.

The Indians won't exactly be seeing the same guy in each game, though Stults and Erlin do have similar skill sets, manager Bud Black said.

"Their curveballs have similar action, their velocities are similar. … Robbie might throw a touch harder than Stultsy," Black said. "Their changeups are different. Eric has a good one and Robbie's is improving. They are similar more than they are dissimilar."

Where the two greatly differ is service time. Stults is 34 and has appeared in 95 big league games over parts of eight seasons. Erlin is 24 and has appeared in all of 12 Major League games.

Black liked the idea of having Stults and Erlin face the Indians because many of Cleveland's top hitters are either left-handed or switch-hitters.

"You'd like to think it might off-set some of their left-handedness," Black said.

Both teams will add a 26th player to their roster in time for Wednesday's doubleheader. The Indians will actually use theirs to start the second game, recalling righty Trevor Bauer.

Bauer was scheduled to pitch Wednesday for Triple-A Columbus. Instead, he'll do it in the big leagues.

In Friday's season opener with Columbus, the 23-year-old Bauer held Indianapolis to one run on two hits in six innings, during which he struck out nine and walked two. That was a continuation of the progress Bauer made in Spring Training, when he displayed a refined delivery after spending all of last season reworking his mechanics.

Cleveland manager Terry Francona feels Bauer is in a better position to provide a solid spot start for the Indians this year. After being acquired from Arizona in an offseason trade prior to last season, Bauer posted a 5.29 ERA in four outings with the Tribe and had more walks (16) than strikeouts (11) in his 17 innings in the Majors in 2013.

"Hopefully, he steps in, gives us six or seven good ones and we'll go from there," Francona said.

Zach McAlister gets the start in the first game for the Indians.

The Padres will officially add left-handed reliever Bobby LaFromboise to the roster on Wednesday as their 26th player for the doubleheader. He had been pitching for Triple-A El Paso.

Padres: Another big birthday?
On Sunday, Alexi Amarista hit a pinch-hit, three-run home run to lift the team to a 4-2 win over the Marlins on his 25th birthday.

Yonder Alonso's 27th birthday Tuesday wasn't quite as dramatic, though he had a fourth-inning double and scored a run. Overall, Alonso was 1-for-5. On defense, Alonso started a 3-6-3 double-play to end the first inning.

It's been birthday week for the Padres, as first baseman/outfielder Tommy Medica turns 26 Wednesday.

Indians: Murphy getting hot
On Sunday, David Murphy had four hits in a loss to the Twins. On Tuesday, Murphy had two hits and drove in four runs, three on a home run in an 8-6 victory over the Padres.

Murphy is the first Indians player this season to knock in four runs in a game. That's the ninth time in his career he's done so. The Indians are 18-1 over the last two seasons when a player knocks in four or more runs in a game.

In his first six games with the Indians, Murphy is hitting .364 with four extra-base hits and six RBIs.

Worth noting
The Padres have certainly run into some good pitching this season -- Zack Greinke and Dan Haren of the Dodgers, Jose Fernandez and Nathan Eovaldi of the Marlins, to name a few. This weekend, when the team returns home to face the Tigers, the Padres will get Rick Porcello and two of the last three Cy Young Award winners, Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer.

Will Venable's sixth-inning double Tuesday was his first extra-base hit of the season. Last season, he had 52 of them -- 22 doubles, 22 home runs and eight triples. Comments