Ross on 11-game run without allowing homer
Right-hander beats Arizona twice in one week
Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.
Tyson Ross's season of inconsistency was packaged nicely into one game Friday night, although he remained totally consistent in one key area. In the year of the home run, Ross worked an 11th straight start Friday night without allowing a homer.
He has gone 72 innings since he yielded the most recent of the three home runs he has given up this season. The homerless streak is the longest by a Major League starting pitcher this season. The 11 starts without allowing a homer is the longest by a Padres starting pitcher since both Jake Peavy and Chris Young went 12 straight starts without a allowing a homer in 2007.
Ross has allowed only three homers in 95 2/3 innings this season -- or one homer every 32 innings. Meanwhile, Ross' wild ride continued in other areas Friday night at Petco Park, as the right-hander picked up a second win over the D-backs in the span of a week.
On June 20, Ross threw the Padres' first complete game of the 2015 season. He allowed the D-backs one run on four hits and a walk with nine strikeouts, needing only 111 pitches to complete nine innings in Phoenix.
Ross wasn't nearly as strong throughout Friday night's outing against the D-backs at Petco Park -- although he finished as though it were the previous Saturday.
Ross walked five of the first 11 D-backs he faced Friday night on his home turf of Petco Park, then gave up a bases-loaded (all on walks), two-out, full-count, two-run single to Arizona first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.
Then, Ross reversed his fortunes, retiring nine of the last 10 D-backs he faced, and the only runner who reached base was eliminated on a double-play grounder.
After 58 pitches, Ross had thrown 29 strikes and 29 balls. But 30 of the last 38 pitches he threw went for strikes.
Over his past two starts against the D-backs, Ross has allowed three runs on six hits and six walks with 16 strikeouts in 15 innings.
His earned run average has plunged from 4.02 to 3.57 thanks to the D-backs.
From the scorecard
• Since he ran his record to 7-0 on June 3, right-handed starter James Shields is 0-2 with a 6.49 earned run average in four starts. The Padres have lost all four of those games and are now 9-7 in Shields' 16 starts on the season. Shields, of course, had his worst outing of the season Thursday afternoon in San Francisco, when he allowed seven runs on nine hits and two walks in four innings. Over those last four starts, Shields has allowed 16 runs on 29 hits and 10 walks with 24 strikeouts in 22 1/3 innings. His ERA has climbed from 3.58 to 4.24.
• Right-hander Josh Johnson will resume throwing soon after an MRI of his twice reconstructed elbow was "inconclusive," according to Padres manager Pat Murphy.
"We are going to resume his rehab," said Murphy. "They don't know about the integrity of the ligament."
Johnson felt tingling in his fingers during a recent simulated game.
• Catcher Derek Norris recorded his 24th caught stealing Friday night. The total is the highest in the Major Leagues this season and three times Norris' previous career high. It is also tied for the fifth-most in Padres history before the All-Star break.
• Right-fielder Matt Kemp's RBI sacrifice fly Friday night gave him 87 career RBIs against the D-backs. He has a career .296 (142-for-480) batting average against Arizona with 29 homers.
• First baseman Yonder Alonso was 2-for-3 with an RBI Friday night against D-backs lefty Robbie Ray. The left-handed-hitting Alonso is batting .405 (15-for-37) against left-handed pitching this season. Alonso is also hitting .368 (7-for-19) during a five-game hitting streak.
• Left-hander Cory Luebke pitched a perfect inning using 11 pitches for Double-A San Antonio Friday night. He has now made five one-inning appearances with one run allowed during his rehab assignment.
• Right-handed starter Brandon Morrow, who has been out with shoulder inflammation since May 3, will throw a bullpen session on Saturday or Sunday.
• Left fielder Justin Upton has an unusual five-game hitting streak going. He is 6-for-22 during the streak with one double and one RBI, but has struck out 10 times in the 22 at-bats.