Tyson Ross has clearly established himself as the ace of the San Diego Padres moving forward. Despite the return of the oft-injured Andrew Cashner, and the disaster that was the Josh Johnson signing, Ross has taken the bull by the horns, and is the staff ace of the Padres–now and for the foreseeable future. He extended his streak to 13 consecutive quality starts, and chipped in a double to lead the Friars past the NL Central first place Milwaukee Brewers, 4-1 on Tuesday night.
Ross finished his night, going 6 1/3 innings, striking out 6, walking 2, and only allowing 4 hits to win his 12th game of the season. If Ross had any consistent run support at all this season, he’d be in the conversation for the National League Cy Young Award. As it is, he’s not a .500 pitcher with a 12-12 record. Outfielder Abraham Almonte, who came over from Seattle in the Chris Denorfia trade, had a pair of hits, including a home run to lead the Padres offensively.
During Ross’ streak of consecutive starts–which also matches Jon Lester of Oakland and Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers, has an ERA of 1.96 during the streak, along with 86 Ks, only 24 free passes in 87 1/3 innings pitched. In 5 August starts, Ross is also doing his part at the plate, hitting .400 (4-for-10), with a double, a pair of walks, a pair of runs scored and an RBI.
Almonte’s home run in the bottom of the 1st, set the tone for the Padres, who were never in trouble against once again, one of the elite teams in the National League. Since the All-Star break, the Padres have gone toe-to-toe with several of the best teams in the NL, and have come out looking solid, remaining competitive against the likes of the Dodgers, the Cardinals, the Nationals, and the aforementioned Brewers–all of whom are most likely headed to October baseball. The second half effort has to make new GM A.J. Preller and manager Bud Black feel pretty good heading into the final 4 1/2 weeks of the season.
Almonte then drove in starter Ross, followed by Jedd Gyorko driving in Seth Smith, and Ross handled the rest. He gave the Brewers one run back–their only one of the night, on a ground-rule double to Scooter Gennett than scored catcher Jonathan Lucroy, but that was as close as the Brew Crew were getting. The combination of Nick Vincent, Kevin Quackenbush and Joaquin Benoit slammed the door the rest of the way, not yielding a single run over the final 2 2/3 innings, with Quackenbush giving up the only knock.
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The two teams return to action Wednesday night, as Odrisamer Despaigne (3-5, 3.44) takes the hill for San Diego, as he hopes to help the Padres put together another second half winning streak, and for Milwaukee, while free agent to be, Yovani Gallardo (8-7, 3.38) goes for the Brewers. First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 p.m. PDT.
Keep the Faith.