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04/23 Padres Preview: Game 22 @ Brewers


Our Padres are back to a game under .500 after last night's extra-inning contest. Tonight Tyson Ross hopes to get the team back up to the .500 mark and take the series from the team with the best record (15-6) in baseball.

Both the Padres and Brewers are in the Top 5 in the majors when it comes to team ERA. Ross has had a lot to do with San Diego's success on the mound and if he can continue to pitch like he has, we'll be looking at another close game tonight. After a couple of less-than-stellar starts to open up his 2014 season, Ross made a change in his mechanics and it has proven to be a game-changer so far. Since then he's put up two brilliant performances: first throwing seven frames of one-run ball against a solid Tigers lineup, followed by a scoreless eight-inning start against the division rival Giants. He held opponents to 11 hits and two walks while collecting 16 strikeouts over those two appearances. Tonight will be just his second time career-wise facing the Brewers. Last July he made his first start against them, limited them to a run on two hits and striking out six batters through six innings of work.

But the way the Padres bats have been swinging, especially on the road, Ross will need to continue being lights-out on the mound if he hopes to keep his, and the Padres', win streaks going. Friars are hitting an abysmal .212 away from Petco Park this season, averaging less than 2 1/2 runs per game. This series has been no exception, as they've been held to five runs while going 1-1 over the first two games. Hopefully they can find a way to give Ross more deserved run support and leave Milwaukee on a high note.

But as mentioned, Brewers pitching has also been rock solid this year - even better than the Padres. They'll give the ball to Kyle Lohse tonight to try to continue that trend as he goes for his fourth straight win.  He's allowed ten runs through his first four starts this year, including a near-complete game in which he went 8 2/3 innings and allowed only one run on four hits against NL Central rival Pirates. Lohse's 2.67 ERA is right in line with the staff 2.59 ERA, which is second best in the majors (Padres are fourth). However, his recent win didn't come that easily. Of his three runs allowed, only one was earned, but it took Lohse 110 pitches to get through 6 1/3 innings. It was his third 100+ pitch outing in a row.

But Lohse has found a lot of success against San Diego in the past. In his last four starts against the Padres, he is 3-0 with a 1.73 ERA. The most recent of those starts, last July, saw him limit the team to one run through seven innings at Miller Park. He'll be trying to do more of the same today while taking advantage of the Padres' anemic offense.

See how the series finale plays out this afternoon at 5:10 PDT.