Ross, Padres dominate D-backs, even series
PHOENIX -- Tyson Ross delivered his best outing of the season so far, hurling nine dominant innings to lead the Padres to an 8-1 win over the D-backs on Saturday night at Chase Field.
Ross gave up a season-best one run on four hits and struck out nine in his first complete game since Aug. 21, 2014 and the third of his career. He also hit an RBI triple, the first of his career, while Derek Norris and Melvin Upton Jr. each homered. Clint Barmes also went 3-for-4 and drove in a pair of runs for the Padres.
"I was just trying to attack hitters with an emphasis on getting the leadoff guy out," Ross said. "I've had trouble with command and walking guys and I really wanted to challenge guys tonight."
D-backs starter Robbie Ray allowed a season-high four runs, three earned, in 5 2/3 innings. However, Ray's 1.78 ERA is the lowest ever through a pitcher's first five career starts for the D-backs.
"I was throwing the ball well, just made a few mistakes and they took advantage of it," Ray said. "Overall I thought I threw the ball pretty well and I just wasn't able to finish that [sixth] inning off."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Two-out hitting: A night after the Padres stranded 11 runners, three of their first four runs came with two outs: Norris' solo home run in the third, Barmes' RBI double down the third base line in the sixth and Barmes' run on a wild pitch.
On the board: The D-backs finally broke through against Ross with two outs in the seventh inning. Chris Owings tripled off the center-field wall, then Welington Castillo belted an RBI double for the second night in a row to cut the Padres' lead to 4-1. However, that would be all the offense on the night for the D-backs.
Putting it on ice: After the D-backs pulled within three, the Padres put the game away with a four-run ninth against Addison Reed, highlighted by Ross's RBI triple and Melvin Upton Jr.'s homer.
Early struggles: D-backs shortstop Cliff Pennington singled to left to lead off the third and was stranded at third base, as Ross retired the next 11 batters he faced. It was the only opportunity the D-backs had to score against the Padres right-hander in the first six innings.
"He threw the ball well, had a good slider," D-backs manager Chip Hale said of Ross. "When his slider's on, it's hard to recognize."
"If I give him a day off, it ain't going to be [against] a left-handed pitcher, that's for sure." -- Padres interim manager Pat Murphy on Norris, who homered off Ray
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Barmes was hitting .235 in his previous seven games before he went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles on Saturday.
The D-backs are 0-9 in games to get back to .500 since they were 8-8 on April 24.
Padres: Right-hander Andrew Cashner takes the mound for San Diego in the series finale at 1:10 p.m. PST on Sunday. Cashner (2-8) allowed 22 runs combined in his past four starts and he is 0-1 against the D-backs this season, despite giving up just two runs and four hits.
D-backs: Jeremy Hellickson is on the mound for the D-backs. Hellickson pitched well in his last start, giving up two runs on four hits in six innings against the Angels, but suffered the loss. The right-hander has been consistent as of late, going at least six innings in five of his last six starts.
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