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05/17/12 10:40 PM ET

Brach is better the second time around

SAN DIEGO -- Reliever Brad Brach has been markedly improved in his second stint with the Padres compared to his first go-around.

Brach has allowed no runs in five innings since the Padres recalled him from Triple-A Tucson on May 4 after they traded reliever Ernesto Frieri to the Angels.

In comparison, Brach posted a 5.06 ERA, giving up three runs in 5 1/3 innings for the Padres in April after they recalled him when starting pitcher Tim Stauffer went on the disabled list.

The difference? Brach said he's just throwing a lot of strikes. His ERA is 2.61.

"That was one of the biggest things the coaches told me when I got sent down, that I just need to throw in the zone and execute pitches," he said. "So, I've just been throwing in the zone and executing more pitches."

Brach has also noticed a spike in his velocity as he's pitched more aggressively.

"It's just been consistently 93-94 [mph] instead of 91-94 or somewhere in there," he said. "It's been a higher, more consistent velocity."

Padres claim Stults off waivers from White Sox

SAN DIEGO -- While the Padres were remodeling their middle infield on Thursday, they also picked up another left-handed pitcher.

The Padres claimed Eric Stults off waivers from the White Sox. Stults is expected to join the team on Friday, and the Padres will make a corresponding move to put him on the roster.

Stults, 32, allowed two runs in 6 2/3 innings in two appearances, including one start, with the White Sox this season. He gave up two runs, struck out four and walked four in six innings in a start against the Indians on May 7.

Stults is 8-10 with a 4.84 ERA in 43 games, including 25 starts, over parts of six Major League seasons with the Dodgers (2006-09), Rockies (2011) and White Sox (2012).

Padres manager Bud Black didn't specify what role Stults will have. The Padres currently have three left-handers in their bullpen.

"I've seen him in the bullpen. I've seen him start," Black said. "He's versatile.

"He's been around the block a little bit. He's a guy we have good reports on in our scouting system. He's another guy when one door closes another one opened up."

Worth noting

• Padres starting pitcher Joe Wieland said he'll likely begin throwing Friday. He went on the disabled list May 10, retroactive to May 7, with a strained right elbow.

• Padres closer Huston Street is expected to start throwing soon, general manager Josh Byrnes said. Street went on the disabled list on May 5 with a strained right lat muscle.

Sarah Trotto is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.