Padres-Rockies Preview

The Associated Press

After throwing his first shutout, San Diego's Tyson Ross capped a memorable week with his first All-Star nod.

Now, he'll try to get back to business as the Padres continue a three-game road set against the slumping Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night.

Ross (7-8, 2.93 ERA) will be San Diego's lone representative at next Tuesday's Midsummer Classic after coming into his own in his fifth big league season. The right-hander has recorded 111 strikeouts in 116 2-3 innings and a .228 opponent's batting average to rank among the NL's top 10 in both categories.

"It's something I still can't wrap my head around," he told MLB's official website. "It's been an incredible journey for me."

Ross also had plenty to celebrate a few days earlier after throwing a three-hitter opposite Johnny Cueto in Wednesday's 3-0 victory over Cincinnati. Ross matched a season high with nine strikeouts and didn't walk anybody.

"Tyson made (the lead) hold up against the guy that's probably gonna start the All-Star game," manager Bud Black said. "That's what I like - (Cueto's) probably going to start the All-Star Game, and Tyson outpitched him.

"It's a tremendous feather in his cap. You do it once, you can do it many more times. Good for him."

Ross, the only starter to make the All-Star team with a losing record, had gone 0-4 with a 3.94 ERA over his previous five starts while receiving a combined one run of support. He went 0-1 in three starts against the Rockies last season despite a 2.76 ERA, holding them to a .190 average.

The Padres (40-49) have won six of eight after pulling out a 6-1 victory in Monday's series opener. Chase Headley went 4 for 5 with two RBIs and Ian Kennedy threw seven strong innings.

Headley, who also collected four hits Friday, has gone 12 for 26 while hitting safely in all six games this month.

"The last couple of weeks I've felt close to where I want to be," Headley said after raising his average to .229. "It's been good the last few games to swing well. I feel like I've been able to control the barrel."

The Rockies (37-53) are a major league-worst 3-18 since June 16 after dropping seven of their last eight. Drew Stubbs provided all the offense Monday with his second homer in three days.

"We can't afford to lose series," manager Walt Weiss said. "Bottom line is we have to start winning."

Rockies leadoff hitter Charlie Blackmon will join Ross and teammate Troy Tulowitzki at the All-Star game, but he's hitting .167 with one run and one RBI over his last 11 games. Third baseman Nolan Arenado is 2 for 19 since coming off the DL on Thursday.

Tulowitzki leads the majors with a .349 average, including a .437 mark at home. He's batting .395 with three homers and eight RBIs over his last 10 at home against San Diego.

Franklin Morales (4-4, 5.51) is set to make his second start since rejoining Colorado's rotation in place of the injured Jhoulys Chacin. The left-hander gave up two runs - one earned - over five innings Thursday against the Los Angeles Dodgers, going without a decision in the 3-2 defeat.

Morales is 0-3 with a 6.81 ERA over his last seven starts dating to May. He yielded one run over six innings and earned the victory in a 3-1 win at San Diego on April 17, his first start against the Padres since 2007.