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Ross pitches Padres to victory

The SportsXchange

SAN DIEGO - Tyson Ross called it "a lot of fun."

The San Diego Padres 6-foot-5 right-hander shut out the San Francisco on four hits over eight innings and Yasmani Grandal hit the Padres' fourth pinch-hit homer of the season Friday night in a 2-1 victory over the Giants at Petco Park.

For Ross, his second win of the season was significant for several reasons.

First, he squared off against Matt Cain in what Padres manager Bud Black called "a great, great pitching duel."

And the native of Berkeley, Calif., beat the cross-bay rival Giants.

"I grew up an A's fan," said Ross. "East Bay always. Oakland."

Ross (2-2, 2.13 ERA) allowed a walk in addition to the four hits. He also had nine strikeouts.

"Tyson was nasty," said Padres catcher Rene Rivera. "When I saw he had a heavy sinker in the bullpen before the game, I thought we were going to be fine. Once I start seeing that sinker with the slider, nasty."

"He's always had a good arm," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Ross. "He threw quality strikes. He's tall and had a good angle on the ball."

Padres closer Huston Street picked up his Major League-leading sixth save despite giving up a one-out homer in the ninth to Giants first baseman Brandon Belt. Street later struck out Giants reserve catcher Hector Sanchez to end the game with the tying run on second.

"I tried to do too much on that at-bat," said Sanchez, who didn't have the best of nights while giving Buster Posey a game off. Sanchez was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and a double-play grounder in addition to letting in the Padres' first run on a passed ball.

The Giants struck out 12 times in their eighth straight one-run game (4-4) - the most consecutive one-run games in Giants history since 1910. San Francisco has scored just two runs in the last 19 innings and four in their last 26.

The Padres scored their first run in the first inning after right fielder Chris Denorfia hit a one-out triple to right-center off Giants right-handed starter Matt Cain.

Denorfia was forced to hold at third on left fielder Seth Smith's ground out to first. But he raced home when Cain's ball-four pitch to second baseman Jedd Gyorko went under Sanchez's mitt and rolled to the backstop for a passed ball.

"We were trying to pull the pitch outside," said Cain. "It cut on Sanchez a little bit. I should have been a little more aggressive going after Gyorko."

It marked the third time in the last five games that the Padres scored runs on wild pitches or passed balls. On Monday, the Padres scored the tying run against Colorado on a wild pitch with the winning run scoring on an ensuing throwing error.

Grandal's 391-foot drive to right off Giants right-handed reliever Juan Gutierrez leading off the eighth made it 2-0.

Cain fell to 0-3 despite not allowing an earned run. He gave up four hits and two walks over seven innings while striking out eight as his ERA fell to 2.88.

The Giants put runners in scoring position with less than two out in three of the first four innings but were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position. They were 0-for-9 in RISP situations for the game.

Giants center fielder Angel Pagan hit a ground-rule double to right-center to open the game, but never moved. Ross was fortunate because Pagan would have easily reached third with a triple had the ball not bounced over the fence after landing on the warning track.

Pagan singled and stole second in the third, but was again stranded. Belt singled to open the fourth and stole second with one out. But Ross struck out right fielder Hunter Pence and Sanchez.

Ross retired nine straight Giants after Belt's single before third baseman Pablo Sandoval led off the seventh with a single and Pence drew a walk to put Giants at first and second with none out. But Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera converted Sanchez's grounder off the mound into a double play, and shortstop Brandon Crawford lined out to Cabrera to end the threat.

Cain, who like Ross allowed three hits over the first six innings, retired 11 straight Padres after Denorfia's second hit with one out in the third until center fielder Will Venable opened the seventh with a bloop single to right.

NOTES: Jerry Layne was scratched from the umpire lineup before the game for "personal medical reasons," leaving a three-man crew . . . Giants SS Brandon Crawford played Friday night despite feeling tightness in his hamstring before the game . . . Padres 3B Chase Headley is wearing a new carbon-fiber brace on the left knee that was surgically repaired last October. Meanwhile, his right biceps injury improved to the point where Headley played catch Friday and took batting practice from both sides of the plate . . . Padres LF Carlos Quentin will report to extended spring training Monday when the Padres start a 10-game road trip. Quentin (bone bruise left knee) has yet to run on the field.
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