Several times Saturday night Tyson Ross was in awe of what he saw from his defense at Great American Ball Park. “Those guys won the game” Ross said of the seven players behind him. “They made it easier to pitch.” Ross allowed one run on four hits over seven innings and got assists from his and the Reds’ defenses as the Padres ended a three-game losing streak with a 3-1 win. The Padres scored two unearned runs in the first inning on two of the four errors committed by the Reds including three by third baseman Jack Hannahan. Meantime the Padres turned two unusual double plays and made five other excellent fielding plays behind Ross who improved to 3-1 in his four starts since the All-Star break while lowering his earned run average to 1.33 in that span. The Padres had only two hits until Will Venable drove his 15th homer of the season into the right-field stands with one out in the eighth to extend the lead to two runs. “That was as good a game as we’ve played on defense all season” said Padres catcher Nick Hundley who had the best seat in the house to view the defensive play in addition to handling Ross and throwing out the would-be tying run in the first. “The infield play was spectacular” Padres manager Bud Black said. “We’ve been talking about the importance of defense all year. It was a key tonight. And Tyson pitched well. “If he puts his fastball where he wants it if he hits those spots like he did tonight heads up we have a solid pitcher on our hands. His slider has been very consistent. His change will get him to the upper level.” And his defense will get Ross talking. “Huge plays behind me all night” said Ross who allowed one run in the first after the Padres had taken a 2-0 lead. In four starts since returning to the rotation Ross has allowed 12 hits and 10 walks in 27 innings while striking out 29. Defensively the gems started early and kept coming. In the first after Shin-Soo Choo drew a walk to open the game and stole second base second baseman Jedd Gyorko dived to his right to stop a Joey Votto smash throwing out the first baseman from his knees to help keep a one-run inning from expanding. Later in the first Hundley threw out Brandon Phillips trying to steal second. Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco singled past Logan Forsythe to open the fifth. Hannahan then grounded sharply to first baseman Yonder Alonso who threw on the run to Forsythe at second for the force with Forsythe’s relay to Ross at first completing the double play. Forsythe then ranged far to his left to stop a grounder and throw out swift pinch-hitter Derrick Robinson. Gyorko ended the sixth by fielding a ricochet off Alonso’s glove and throwing back to Alonso to retire Phillips. But the decisive play came in the seventh. A walk to Jay Bruce and a single by Xavier Paul put Reds at first and third with no outs. Mesoraco hit a high fly to short right. Chris Denorfia caught the ball on the run and fired a strike toward the plate freezing Bruce at third.
Ross, Padres win 3-1 over Reds in a battle of defenses
San Diego Union-Tribune | Aug 11