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Black calls on Stults, Erlin for Rox series

Special to MLB.com

SAN DIEGO -- With the spate of off-days and rainouts likely finished, the Padres opened a stretch of schedule on Friday in which they will play 20 games in the next 20 days against the Tigers, Rockies, Giants, Brewers, Nationals and Giants. With a roof in Milwaukee, the only chance of a rainout is in Washington and, far less likely, San Francisco.

Which means, of course, that San Diego will lean hard on its five-man rotation. Black said Friday that, following Andrew Cashner, Ian Kennedy and Tyson Ross this weekend against Detroit, left-hander Eric Stults will start Monday night against the Rockies and lefty Robbie Erlin will start Tuesday night's game also against Colorado.

Full Game Coverage

SAN DIEGO -- With the spate of off-days and rainouts likely finished, the Padres opened a stretch of schedule on Friday in which they will play 20 games in the next 20 days against the Tigers, Rockies, Giants, Brewers, Nationals and Giants. With a roof in Milwaukee, the only chance of a rainout is in Washington and, far less likely, San Francisco.

Which means, of course, that San Diego will lean hard on its five-man rotation. Black said Friday that, following Andrew Cashner, Ian Kennedy and Tyson Ross this weekend against Detroit, left-hander Eric Stults will start Monday night against the Rockies and lefty Robbie Erlin will start Tuesday night's game also against Colorado.

Full Game Coverage

Both Stults and Erlin started Wednesday's doubleheader in Cleveland, so Black could have gone either way with the two lefties.

The deciding factor was that Erlin threw 95 pitches in the second game Wednesday, and Black thinks he could use the benefit of an extra day's rest. Stults, in the first game, threw 90 pitches.

Because Stults has 74 Major League starts on his resume, and Erlin just 10, the Padres want to make sure to give Erlin every edge he needs, especially with Josh Johnson on the disabled list with a strained flexor muscle and not making significant progress.

"He's getting a little closer, but nothing really imminent," Black said. "He still has some discomfort. He's still working with the trainers and physical therapists.

"There's still some soreness in his forearm."

Scott Miller is a contributor to MLB.com.

 

San Diego Padres, Robbie Erlin, Eric Stults