“It’s really huge to have a guy back there who is as good defensively as anybody in the game but can swing the bat a little bit, too,” Jones said. “That’s a nice luxury to have. It’s not the first time he’s done it, either.”
Ross hit a solo homer in the second and a three-run blast to cap the Braves’ five-run sixth inning. Both home runs, Ross’ first two of the season, came off Aaron Harang(notes) (4-1), who was bidding to becoming the NL’s first five-game winner.
“He didn’t make the pitch both times,” Ross said. “He’s got good stuff. I was fortunate to get a couple off of him.”
Ross is 4 for 9 against Harang with three home runs.
“It’s one of those things where I’ve hit the mistakes,” said Ross. “He usually doesn’t make a lot of mistakes.”
Jurrjens (2-0) had pitched out of trouble against the Padres, limiting them to nine hits and stranding eight runners for his first complete game in his 95th career start. His ERA rose slightly from 0.69 to 1.23.
“His slider didn’t show up until the seventh,” Ross said. “How great of him to save our bullpen. But his stuff wasn’t as sharp as it normally is for him. He gave up a lot of hits but he pitched his tale off when guys got on base.”
The Braves bullpen had been stretched thin lately, going to extra innings three times in five games, including Monday night’s 5-3 loss in 13 innings to the Padres.
“After that long game, (Jurrjens) did a great job,” Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
Harang seemed to settle down after falling behind 3-0 on Ross’ solo homer in the second. But the right-hander, who hadn’t allowed a homer in his first four starts covering 24 innings, imploded in the sixth inning.
Jones led off with single, and consecutive walks to Dan Uggla(notes) and Freddie Freeman(notes) loaded the bases. Alex Gonzalez(notes) followed with a two-run single. After Harang struck out Nate McLouth(notes), Ross connected again to left for his 10th career two-homer game.
“I just wasn’t able to locate anything,” Harang said. “It was one of those games. You’re going to have them every once in a while.”
Harang, the franchise’s first pitcher to win his first four starts with the team, allowed a season-high seven runs on eight hits with three walks. His ERA rose from 1.88 to 3.90.
Jurrjens got inning-ending double plays in the first and second innings. San Diego scored in the third after Jorge Cantu’s(notes) two-out single and a triple by Orlando Hudson(notes). But Jurrjens limited the damage by getting Brad Hawpe(notes) on a groundout.
San Diego came into the game hitting a major-league low .209 with the fewest runs scored in the majors.
“It always feels good tying Mick,” Jones said. “I found my way into one. He fell into a predictable count and it got us off on the right foot.”
Said Fredi Gonzalez: “It really does give me goosebumps every time one of those milestones is reached.”
Jones, who had his 500th career double in Monday night’s series opener, is hitting .341 with four doubles, seven homers and 14 RBIs in 24 games at Petco Park.
NOTES: The Padres fell into a tie with the Seattle Mariners for the worst record in the majors at 9-15. … In his only other start in San Diego, Jurrjens lasted just 3 1-3 innings last season on April 12 when he allowed a career-high eight runs in a 17-2 loss. … San Diego RHP Evan Scribner(notes) made his major league debut with two scoreless innings. … Hall of Famer Eddie Murray holds the switch hitting record for most RBIs with 1,917. … The Padres reinstated OF Kyle Blanks(notes) from the 15-day disabled list and optioned him to Double-A San Antonio. Blanks, who played in 33 games last season for San Diego, had season-ending Tommy John surgery on his right elbow on July 29.