Monday, April 14, 2014
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Ross Outduels Scherzer As Padres Beat Tigers

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[April 14, 2014]  SAN DIEGO  After struggling in his first two outings of the season, San Diego Padres right-hander Tyson Ross recovered his stride Sunday afternoon against the Detroit Tigers  literally.

Ross is a tall pitcher (6-foot-5) with a short stride. Sometimes that causes him problems, like it did in two straight losses during which he gave up 10 hits and nine walks in 10 1/3 innings.

"I lose command at times," Ross admitted after holding the Tigers to one run on six hits over seven innings in the Padres' 5-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers before 32,267 at Petco Park.

"We made some adjustments since my last start. I stayed on the rubber longer which allowed me to get a better push with my back leg and better results."

Ross issued just one walk while striking out seven Tigers as the Padres won a second game in the three-game interleague series.

He also drove in the first run of his career with a single to cap a three-run fourth against reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer.

Ross' single followed the game's key hit, a two-run double by right fielder Will Venable that snapped a 1-1 tie.

Venable's liner into the right field corner was significant for several reasons.

It came on the first pitch Scherzer threw after opening the inning with back-to-back walks to third baseman Chase Headley and first baseman Yonder Alonso.

"I swung at the first pitch because I figured Scherzer would want to throw a strike after issuing two straight walks," Venable said. "He doesn't walk a lot of hitters."

In fact, Scherzer had walked only three hitters in 18 innings before going back-to-back.

"I beat myself with those walks," Scherzer said.

Venable also ended his personal runs of 15 at-bats without a hit and 21 consecutive games without a RBI with his tie-breaking hit.

Ross (1-2) allowed one walk hit a batter in addition to the six hits. He had seven strikeouts. Ross benefitted from three excellent defensive plays  two diving stops by second baseman Jedd Gyorko saved at least one run and a running catch in left by Seth Smith prevented another run.

"I thought we played a solid all-around game," said Padres manager Bud Black. "We pitched well, the defense was sharp and we finally got some timely hitting. The bats still aren't there, but the at-bats are better than we had in Cleveland and Miami."

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The Padres opened and closed their scoring with solo homers.

Gyorko, who was 6-for-39 (.154) over the season's first 11 games, gave the hosts a 1-0 lead with a 385-foot homer to left leading off the second. Pinch hitter Xavier Nady greeted Tigers reliever Ian Krol with a 422-foot drive over the fence in right-center leading off the seventh.

The Tigers tied the game in the top of the fourth on a leadoff double into the right field corner by right fielder Torii Hunter and a one-out single to center by catcher Victor Martinez.

NOTES: Last season, San Diego 2B Jedd Gyorko didn't hit the first of his club-rookie-record 23 homers until May 1. ... PH Xavier Nady's two hits this season and last three major league hits dating back to 2012 are home runs ... Padres LF Carlos Quentin is scheduled to take live batting practice on the field Monday, although manager Bud Black said Quentin is still weeks away from playing due to the bone bruise to his left knee suffered during the penultimate week of spring training. ... Tigers LF Rajai Davis grabbed his right hamstring while swinging and missing in the third Sunday, bringing the trainer and manager Brad Ausmus to the plate. Davis stayed in the game and beat out an infield hit two pitches later ... Detroit 1B Miguel Cabrera went 1-for-12 in the series ... Overall, the Tigers were 19-for-99 in the series after arriving at Petco Park with a .278 team batting average, which at the time was the fourth-highest mark in the Major Leagues. ... The loss was just RHP Max Scherzer's fourth in his last 35 games dating back to Sept. 23, 2012.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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