Victories have certainly been tough to come by this season for Padres left-hander Eric Stults, who gets the start on Sunday in the third game of a four-game series against the Braves at Turner Field.
But that doesn't mean that the struggles Stults had in May and early June have necessarily followed him in July, even if he's won just once since May 10 when he defeated the Marlins.
In fact, Stults hasn't allowed more than three earned runs in any of his last six starts dating back to June 17 against the Mariners. The last time out against the Cubs, on July 22, he allowed three runs on six hits in five innings of a 6-0 loss.
So, yes, as manager Bud Black has said, Stults' 3-12 record is a little deceiving.
"It's tough to see losses go on your record start after start, but man, he's been great," Black said. "He's been great as a teammate, showing up every day and doing his thing. That's worth something, for me."
Stults weathered a tough June when he had a 6.16 ERA, knowing he was capable of pitching much better. In July, the results have been there. He's made a few slight adjustments, including using more of an aggressive leg kick in his delivery to help his tempo.
"I've been in this game long enough to know you're going to hit stretches where you're not going to pitch well," Stults said. "You don't dwell on the bad ones. You move forward."
Mike Minor, another southpaw with just three wins, will take the ball for the Braves. His ERA ballooned to 5.32 on Tuesday when he lasted a season-low three innings against the Marlins and allowed six runs.
In his last two starts, Minor has a 12.00 ERA. His performance has been sub-par for about six weeks now, prompting manager Fredi Gonzalez to question whether Minor might be hurt.
"That was my biggest concern, 'Are you healthy?' " Gonzalez said. "He said, 'I feel great.' So now that we've got that out of the way, let's work on mechanics or delivery. Hitters and pitchers get out of whack."
"I'm pretty much the same pitcher as last year," Minor said. "Maybe I'm not just executing my pitches or maybe just not going after guys, kind of nibbling or aiming the ball."
Padres: The Y's have it
When the Padres reinstated first baseman Yonder Alonso from the disabled list Saturday, it gave them three players on the active roster with names that begin with the letter Y -- Alonso, catcher Yasmani Grandal and infielder Yangervis Solarte.
The Padres become the third Major League team since 1914 to feature three players on the same roster with a first name starting with the letter Y. The 2012 Texas Rangers and 2012 Toronto Blue Jays are the others.
Braves: Pastornicky optioned, Gosselin returns
The Braves optioned utility infielder Tyler Pastornicky to Triple-A Gwinnett and recalled Phil Gosselin on Saturday afternoon.
Pastornicky served as a pinch-hitter during his week in Atlanta, going 1-for-5 with a walk, a run scored and two strikeouts.
Gosselin, who can play second, short and third, first joined Atlanta when his contract was purchased from Gwinnett as a result of Dan Uggla's suspension from the Braves' final game before the All-Star break on July 13. He was optioned back to Gwinnett following the contest.
In order to bring Gosselin back in a non-injury roster move, there is a waiting period of 10 days. Gosselin became eligible to return to the Major League roster after July 23.
• According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Padres righty Jesse Hahn became one of six active pitchers to win each of his first four career road starts on Friday. He is the first Padres pitcher to open his career with such a streak.
• Former Braves hurlers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine will be inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday, along with longtime Atlanta manager Bobby Cox.
Aaron Leibowitz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.