Padres 3, Reds 2

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Tim Stauffer thinks he can help the Padres, even if it's out of the bullpen.

Stauffer pitched four shutout innings to help a San Diego split-squad beat the Cincinnati Reds 3-2 on Saturday.

Stauffer, a 2003 first-round pick who is out of options, is pushing hard for the final spot in the Padres' rotation but is open to a reliever role. The right-hander allowed two hits and struck out four in his first appearance since last Saturday.

"During the season relievers have to go that long or longer so I guess if that's something that's a possibility I need to get used to it," Stauffer said after a seven-day layoff. "That wouldn't be a hard transition to make."

Stauffer went 4-7 with a 3.58 ERA in 14 starts last season after missing all of 2008 with a shoulder injury. He lowered his spring ERA to 2.57.

"Stauffer was crisp," Padres manager Bud Black said. "I thought I saw a little more velocity and a good slider. We've talked a lot about our depth and I think it's showing in the last couple of weeks."

Chase Headley had a two-run single for San Diego and has 17 RBIs this spring. Sean Gallagher, also fighting for a roster spot, followed Stauffer with two scoreless innings.

Micah Owings struck out three in three scoreless innings for Cincinnati.

Joey Votto hit a two-run homer off Padres closer Heath Bell in the ninth inning.

Game notes
Reds RHP Johnny Cueto allowed four earned runs and nine hits over six innings in a minor league game against Chicago White Sox farmhands. ... San Diego RHP Mat Latos, originally scheduled to start on Saturday, threw a bullpen session. Latos, who is nursing a sore elbow, said he felt good after throwing about 30 pitches. Latos also is a candidate for the rotation.