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SD@LAD: Stauffer fans seven over 6 2/3 frames

Don't look now, but Tim Stauffer might be one of the best winless pitchers in the National League.

The 28-year-old has quietly been pitching some very effective baseball -- allowing two runs or less in five of his six starts, but has only an 0-1 record to show for it. Stauffer has gone into the sixth inning or deeper in four of his outings, and struck out 14 batters in his last two starts alone.

Stauffer emerged as one of the Padres' best starters at the end of last season, and has a 2.61 ERA and a .232 opponents' batting average in his last 12 starts, stretching back to the end of 2010.

Stauffer credits much of his success to focusing on his fastball command and being able to throw the heater to the outer third of the plate against right-handed batters.

"For me, everything comes off the fastball," Stauffer said after his April 18 start against the Cubs. "I felt like I got the correct release point. I felt sharper, and the ball was moving like it has before."

Against Arizona, Stauffer has started one game in his career, and is 0-1 with a 1.80 ERA.

The D-backs will counter with Armando Galarraga, who has battled through ups and downs in his first season in the National League. The 29-year-old is 3-2 on the season, but has given up at least three runs and one home run in all five of his starts.

Galarraga has been battered for 11 home runs in his 28 innings so far this season.

"That's a lot, and I'm concerned," Gallaraga said of the 11 round-trippers. "But just to the point of needing to try to make better pitches."

Padres: Bell makes history
• Padres closer Heath Bell notched his seventh save of the season in Tuesday's 6-5 victory over the Pirates, tying Trevor Hoffman's franchise record for consecutive saves with 41. The 33-year-old hasn't blown a save since May 26, 2010, against the Cardinals.

• Bell's streak is the longest of its kind in the Majors since Brad Lidge saved 47 straight for the Phillies, a run that stretched over three seasons. Ironically enough, it was the Padres who snapped Lidge's streak on April 18, 2009, when they scored four runs in the top of the ninth inning for an 8-5 win. "It's a great milestone to be mentioned with Trevor," Padres manager Bud Black said. "That is not easy to do. But he's talented, and it's a great testament to his ability to close out a game."

D-backs: Heilman reinstated from DL
• Before Thursday's game against the Rockies, the Diamondbacks reinstated right-hander Aaron Heilman (right shoulder tendinitis) from the 15-day disabled list and optioned right hander Barry Enright to Triple-A Reno. Enright posted a record of 1-3 with a 6.49 ERA with 15 walks and 19 strikeouts in six starts for the D-backs.

• D-backs general manager Kevin Towers will be making his first return to PETCO Park on Friday since being dismissed by the Padres at the end of the 2009 season. Towers was the most tenured general manager in the Major Leagues at the time of his dismissal, holding the job for 14 straight seasons.

• The Padres went 1,107-1,160 under Towers, reaching the postseason four times and winning the National League pennant in 1998. Towers is in his first full season with the D-backs, after being hired in late September.

Worth Noting
Mat Latos became the first Padres pitcher to homer at PETCO Park when he went deep on Tuesday ... 20 of San Diego's first 30 games have been decided by two runs or less, with the Padres posting an 8-12 record in those contests ... The D-backs' Ryan Roberts has reached base safely 16 of his last 19 games, while Stephen Drew has hit safely in 16 of his last 19 games ... Joe Paterson has thrown 13 straight scoreless outings, tied for the third longest streak by a D-backs pitcher to begin his career behind Doug Slaten (18), Clay Zavada (14) and Bret Prinz (13). Comments