SAN DIEGO (AP) — Years later and some 500 miles to the south, Tyson Ross still considers the San Francisco Giants to be rivals.
Born in Berkeley and raised in Oakland, where he later pitched for the A's, Ross beat the Giants for the first time in six career appearances by throwing eight scoreless innings to lead the San Diego Padres to a 2-1 victory Friday night.
"East Bay, man," Ross said. "That was a lot of fun. I grew up an A's fan, so that rivalry's definitely there. The Giants were the rival at heart for me growing up."
Ross held the Giants to four hits, struck out nine and walked one. The Padres handed Matt Cain his third straight loss.
Ross (2-2) beat Cain five days after topping AL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer and the Detroit Tigers. The right-hander was rarely in trouble, despite allowing a leadoff double to Angel Pagan. Ross then retired the next eight batters. He walked one.
"From there he really made pitches. I thought his stuff was outstanding," Padres manager Bud Black said. "He was in a pitching duel with one of the proven National League pitchers in Matt Cain, and matched him. It was a great, great pitching duel."
Pablo Sandoval was the only Giants runner to reach third base against Ross, after hitting a single leading off the seventh and advancing on a walk and a double play. Sandoval was stranded when Ross got Brandon Crawford to line to shortstop.
Ross has made two strong starts after opening with two shaky outings.
Black said Ross made a big mechanical adjustment between his second and third starts.
"He just sort of reverted back to sort of muscling the ball with his upper body and not really driving off the mound and keeping his right foot securely against the rubber and pushing off," Black said. "When a pitcher doesn't use his lower half, his stuff's going to suffer."
Ross said he's worked to keep his foot against the rubber longer and not rush his pitches.
"Since I've made that adjustment I've been more consistent in the strike zone and had a better feel for all my pitches," he said.
Cain (0-3) allowed four hits and one unearned run in seven innings while striking out eight and walking two.
The Giants have played eight straight games decided by one run, their most since another streak of eight in a row in August 1910, according to STATS.
"It's tough," Cain said. "Any way you lose, it's not fun. Tyson threw the ball really good over there and he didn't give us many opportunities to score runs. When we had chances to do it, he (bore) down and got the job done."