Padres look to Ross in Game 2 vs. Giants
SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco Bay Area native Tyson Ross hopes to beat the San Francisco Giants for the second time this season Tuesday night when he attempts to help the San Diego Padres rebound from a tough loss in the opener of their three-game road series.
Padres rookie left-hander Eric Lauer was one out from celebrating his first major league win Monday night before the Giants rallied off San Diego closer Brad Hand for three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to pull out a stunning, 6-5 victory.
Pinch-hitter Nick Hundley produced the seventh walk-off hit of his career when he smacked a two-out, two-run single off Hand to cap the rally and hand Giants reliever Pierce Johnson, who had pitched a scoreless top of the ninth, with his first big-league win.
Lauer, who was lifted for a pinch hitter in the sixth inning, did not get a decision.
The win was the Giants’ seventh in their last nine games and helped take some of the sting out of losing three of four to the Padres in San Diego earlier this season.
The Padres also tormented the Giants last season, winning the season series 12-7.
“They beat us up pretty good at their place,” Hundley said of the games in San Diego. “It’s good to beat them. We haven’t played well against them. We’re playing a lot better now.”
The win gave a positive ending to a day that began with news that Giants second baseman Joe Panik had undergone surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb. He’s expected to be out at least six weeks.
The injury occurred while applying a tag Friday night at second base.
The Padres also got some bad news Monday when catcher Austin Hedges had to leave the game with tendinitis in his right elbow.
San Diego will turn to Ross (2-2, 3.64) in hopes of reversing their fortunes.
The native of Berkeley, about 20 miles east of San Francisco, was tough on the Giants when he faced them in San Diego in the earlier series. He allowed just one unearned run in six innings of a 5-1 win.
Winning in San Francisco has been more difficult for the 31-year-old, who has gone just 1-2 with a 4.33 ERA in six games (four starts) at AT&T Park.
Overall, Ross has a 4-4 record and 3.24 ERA against the Giants in 11 games (nine starts).
The Giants will counter with left-hander Andrew Suarez (0-1, 6.75), who is being thrust into the role of sixth starter because San Francisco had to use two in a double-header against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday.
Suarez will be making his second major league start, having allowed four runs and four hits in 5 1/3 innings in a losing debut April 11 against Arizona.
He has never faced San Diego.
The Padres have struggled against left-handed starters this season, hitting just .217.
That figure would be a whole lot worse without rookie hotshot Christian Villanueva, who has bombed lefties for seven home runs with a .481 batting average in just 27 at-bats this season.