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Ross welcomes longer Spring Training

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Don't tell Tyson Ross that Spring Training is too long.

Six weeks in Arizona and a franchise-record 38 exhibition games? The Padres pitcher doesn't mind at all.

"The beauty of a longer Spring Training is I get more work with the coaches, more side work," Ross said on Saturday.

And, of course, more innings in Cactus League games.

Ross made his first start Saturday against the Mariners, allowing two runs in two innings. He allowed a walk to leadoff hitter Franklin Gutierrez after falling behind 3-0. Two batters later, Jason Bay jumped on a 1-0 fastball, sending it over the fence in left field.

"I thought he threw the ball fine, I thought his arm strength and velocity looked good and he threw a couple of good changeups, which he needs to do," said Padres manager Bud Black.

All told, Ross allowed three hits, one walk and had two strikeouts.

"It was nice to be back out there," Ross said. "I'm just trying to knock the rust off."

Ross, obtained in November from the A's, is one of several candidates in camp trying to win a job in the starting rotation. He's spent the last 10 days working with pitching coach Darren Balsley and feels like he's already starting to see some results.

"Like Balsley said, it's just a matter of not trying to overpower people, it's about dissecting hitters," Ross said.