LOS ANGELES (AP)
''I'm just executing pitches a little bit better,'' Stults said. ''Early on I was giving up a lot of extra-base hits, a lot of home runs, whereas now I've limited the damage more to just singles.''
Stults improved to 3-0 with a 1.46 ERA in four starts this month while picking up just his second road win of the season.
''He knows how to feed off hitters' aggressiveness,'' Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis said. ''Now you see he's pitching free and easy. He's pitching with a lot of confidence.''
Stults (6-13) struck out five and walked one. The Dodgers came into the game with a 20-10 record against left-handed opponents, but Stults did just enough against the team he pitched for from 2006-09.
''He made a conscious effort to tweak his delivery a little bit, especially out of the windup, and a little minor adjustment out of the stretch - sort of an upbeat, momentum-building delivery,'' Padres manager Bud Black said. ''That's helped his conviction with the fastball.''
Kevin Quackenbush pitched the ninth to earn his first major league save. He started a 1-2-3 putout to end the game.
''It's a pretty awesome feeling,'' he said. ''I got a couple in the minor leagues, but this first one in the big leagues is always going to be special to me. I was a little more nervous than I have been in previous outings.''
Alexi Amarista had two hits, drove in a run, walked and stole a base, Rymer Liriano went 2 for 3 with a walk and two runs scored, and Seth Smith went 2 for 5 for the Padres, who pounded out 11 hits in ending a two-game skid.
To read more on the Dodgers loss to the Padres, visit FOXSports.com