SAN DIEGO (AP) — A handful of San Diego regulars still aren't hitting their weight, and the Padres had only six hits against Max Scherzer and the Detroit Tigers on Sunday.
That would normally have the Padres heading for a loss, especially at Petco Park.
Thanks, though, to big right-hander Tyson Ross and some timely hitting, the Padres beat the Tigers 5-1 to take two of three for their first series win this season.
Ross outdueled Scherzer, the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner, and Jedd Gyorko and Xavier Nady homered.
"It was a big day for us," said Will Venable, who hit a two-run double after Scherzer walked two batters to open the fourth. "Not necessarily because of the Tigers, but because we got the series win."
The Padres had lost two of three in each of their first three series.
So taking two of three from the Tigers "means a lot, obviously," Nady said.
"That's an unbelievable organization and an unbelievable team. When you're struggling and you can take two out of three against a team like that, it shows what's in this ballclub, and the fight. We obviously didn't come out of the gate playing well. The pitching has done a tremendous job and now it's our turn on the offensive side to get some guys going and hopefully get some runs early and get big hits and start playing well," he said.
After two shaky opening starts, Ross (1-2) struck out seven and held the Tigers to one run and six hits in seven innings. He walked one.
Ross said he made an adjustment in his delivery since his last start. He even had an RBI single against Scherzer.
But he didn't take it as a bigger challenge than normal.
"The only one I really had was worrying about hitting against him," Ross said. "I've seen him on TV and knew he was going to be a tough one live. Other than that I'm facing the Tigers, not necessarily just Max."
Scherzer (0-1) allowed four runs and four hits in five innings, struck out 10 and walked three. The Tigers have scored three runs for Scherzer in his three starts.
He called his day's work "Inefficient. I just didn't feel like I was efficient out there but I've got to give them credit. I'm not going to ignore what they did. They battled me and they made me work. I also felt like I didn't consistently pound the strike zone the way I'm accustomed to. I fell behind too many guys. I let them get too many hitters counts for them to capitalize on."
The Tigers have lost four of six under rookie manager Brad Ausmus, who was working in the Padres' front office when Detroit hired him in November.