D-backs tip hat to Ross, who outduels Ray
'He controlled the game,' Hale says of Padres starter
PHOENIX -- D-backs starter Robbie Ray thought he had a decent outing in Saturday's 8-1 loss, but the Padres just capitalized on the few mistakes he made.
On the other side, Padres starter Tyson Ross wasn't making any mistakes. And if the D-backs were going to win, Ray would've had to have been nearly perfect.
Ross stifled the D-backs' offense, limiting them to one run on four hits in a complete-game effort that baffled hitters throughout the night.
"He had his 'A' game today," said D-backs third baseman Jake Lamb, who was 0-for-3 with three strikeouts. "You could see it, he got into a rhythm. He was throwing strikes and even the sliders not for strikes, it looks like a fastball ... and then it's out of the zone."
Ross' slider was key in helping him notch nine strikeouts, retiring 11 batters in a row at one point during the middle innings. The D-backs' only run came in the seventh, when Chris Owings tripled with two outs and Welington Castillo followed with an RBI double.
D-backs slugger Paul Goldschmidt led off the bottom of the ninth with a single. But Ross struck out David Peralta and got Danny Dorn to ground into a game-ending double play.
"If his slider's on like that and he's spotting his fastball, he's going to be hard to hit, period," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "You try to get guys to lay off the ball down low because it's going to break out of the zone, but it was just really good. He controlled the game from the first pitch on."
Ray allowed just two runs in his first five innings of work -- an RBI single by Clint Barmes in the second and a solo home run by Derek Norris in the third -- but ran into more trouble in the sixth.
Barmes hit a two-out RBI double and later came in to score on a wild pitch that stretched the Padres' lead to 4-0 after Ray exited. The D-backs left-hander allowed a season-high four runs, three earned, on six hits in 5 2/3 innings, but also recorded seven strikeouts.
"His ball had good life," Hale said. "I thought he threw the ball very well, a step in the right direction."
Ray has pitched to a 1.78 ERA, the lowest by a D-backs starter in their first five career starts with the club. Even though he was pleased with his stuff, Ray said he was disappointed that he was unable to complete six innings for just the second time this year.
"Gave up that hit and I was just mad at myself and couldn't get over it," Ray said. "It comes with time, being able to get over that, and I think that's probably the main reason, it was a lack of concentration."