A matchup against the punch-less Kansas City Royals isn’t likely to slow the right-hander down.
Stauffer takes the mound looking to continue his recent success as the San Diego Padres try for a three-game sweep of the visiting Royals on Wednesday.
Since getting outscored 45-25 during a 1-9 stretch, San Diego (36-45) has taken six of seven, including Tuesday night’s 4-2 win over Kansas City (33-47).
No one in San Diego’s rotation, though, has been more impressive than Stauffer (3-5, 3.09 ERA) of late.
Stauffer, 0-3 with a 3.52 ERA over five career interleague starts, has been superb over his last four outings overall, going 2-1 with a 0.93 ERA - a top-five mark in the majors since June 7.
The 29-year-old was at his best during an 11-2 victory over Atlanta on Friday, striking out a career-high nine in seven innings while allowing two runs and four hits.
“He’s pitched well, especially lately,” manager Bud Black told the Padres’ official website. “Tremendous, tremendous outing again (Friday). His last (four starts) have been solid, so it was good to see him finally get some support.”
Even with that offensive outburst, Stauffer has only received 21 runs of support at Petco Park, where he has surrendered three or fewer runs in seven of nine outings.
The Padres have scored 4.8 runs per game during their winning stretch, well above their 3.5 season average that ranks near the bottom of the majors. Chase Headley’s(notes) thriving bat likely has much to do with his team’s uptick in production.
Headley, who was hitting .264 on June 12, has raised his batting average 39 points by going 23 for 48 (.479) over his last 12 games.
“I’m very confident at the plate right now,” Headley told the Padres’ official website. “One of the big things is obviously right-handed, I feel much better at the plate than I have in a long time. To not have that lopsided average that I’ve had in past years makes a big difference.”
While San Diego continues to surge, Kansas City has averaged 3.3 runs in losing 10 of 13.
“We’re walking a fine line,” manager Ned Yost said. “We can’t make mistakes. When we make mistakes, it burns us. You’re not going to be successful when you’re walking that thin of a line, where you have to be perfect to win ballgames. We have to start swinging the bats better.”
Bruce Chen(notes) (4-1, 3.88) returned from a strained left lateral muscle to give up four runs and eight hits over six innings of Friday’s 6-4 loss to the Chicago Cubs but didn’t receive a decision in his first start since May 5.
Chen is making his first appearance against the Padres since 2002. He is 1-1 with a 2.65 ERA in three career starts versus San Diego—all on the road.