The Padres returned to action this Monday to face the Brewers in Milwaukee and I returned to recapping Monday games. There was no game last Monday, so I haven't recapped in two weeks and I haven't gotten to watch the majority of a Padres game (due to weekend conflicts and weekday early start times) since they were in San Diego. I'm glad this return featured Tyson Ross on the hill, since he seems to be the Padres best starting pitcher of late boasting a 4-1 record and a 2.49 ERA over his last 8 starts.
Even though I haven't been able to watch much of the Padres games lately, I've still been following along closely. I know that on Sunday the Friars waited until the end of the game to start their scoring. Today they were not so patient. In the first inning, with one out and no one on, Yangervis Solarte launched a Wily Peralta pitched just over the wall in right center field to give the Padres an early 1-0 lead. Good thing too because in the bottom of the first the Brewers plated a couple of runs of their own to put the Padres in a 2-1 hole. It seemed as though Ross wasn't getting the break and location on his slider that he's used to. That would be something to watched for the rest of the game.
Perhaps knowing that he might make up for an underperforming pitch, Tyson's bat would make some noise in the 2nd inning. With two outs and two runners on, Ross confidently laced a single to right field to drive in one of the runners. Alexi Amarista didn't want to see the two out rally end tripled down the right field line to bring home 2 more including hustling Ross. Encouraged by that scoring, the Padres would add runs in the 3rd, 4th and 5th as well before finally going run-free in the 6th. The 3rd and 4th were like copies of each other. A lead off double (by Justin Upton in the 3rd and Amarista in the 4th), an out to move the runners and then a single to drive them in (Gyorko in the 3rd, Kemp in the 4th. Wily Peralta would be chased from the game in that 4th inning. That solved the problem for Milwaukee in the 4th, but a solo home run by Jedd Gyorko kept the scoring going in the 5th. Those first 5 innings of damage totaled up to a 7-2 lead.
Getting back to Tyson Ross. After watching that slider closely, it never seemed to achieve biting-like-a-mule status, but professional that Ross is he found a way to make it work. Each inning seemed to go more smoothly than the last. At least until his final frame in the 6th when a two out rally of consecutive singles scored their third run. He would leave the game up 7-3 and in line for a win.
In the 7th, that lead went from pretty nice to really nice. A 6 run rally, including a Solarte 3 run blast, his second big fly of the game, put away any thoughts Milwaukee could be having about a comeback and let the Padres put some mop up men on the mound for the duration. Leonel Campos, Dale Thayer and Marcos Mateo adequately provided the mopping, allowing 2 runs over the final 3 innings and finished off the Padres 13-5 victory. After winning two series on the road to start this trip, the Friars welcomed me back to the fold with a winning performance that got them off on the right foot in Milwaukee. Keep it rolling, Padres.