Surprise, AZ – Brandon Morrow gave up a walk-off two run home run to Texas Rangers (15-10) catcher Bobby Wilson in the bottom of the ninth inning. The Padres (7-15) have now lost three straight after winning three straight dating back to a 12-5 pounding of the division rival Dodgers.
Rougned Odor hit three home runs in the game to help lead a Rangers offensive attack that yielded twelve runs on twelve hits. The Padres kept things interesting by scoring eleven runs of their own on thirteen hits.
Ross had some trouble himself, giving up two of Odor’s home runs. Last season, Ross had a three month stretch of starts in which he only gave up two total home runs. Currently, there is no need to worry as the Opening Day starter is still trying to find his groove and experiment with pitch location. He did strike out seven in 5 1/3 innings on Friday night. Ross is making his first career start on Opening Day, an award for a strong 2015 campaign.
“The plan was to have me get up and down six times, I accomplished that,” Ross said. “I’d like to throw the ball better, but physically, I’m built up, I’m ready to go. I’ve got one more [start], and then the lights come on in April.”
The Padres managed to rough up Texas’ Opening Day starter Cole Hamels for four runs and five hits in just three innings of work, forcing Hamels to throw 73 pitches.
“I’m still trying to create a sharpness with repetition, find the release point and get the feel. I’m able to throw all my pitches. It’s finding out where I want to start the ball and where I want them to end up,” said Hamels.
San Diego’s big inning came in the top of the eighth, scoring six runs, including a two run home run by minor league infielder Luis Asuncion.
Matt Kemp continued his hot streak this spring with two more hits. He’s currently batting over .370 in Cactus League play.
James Shields will take the mound for the Padres this afternoon at 1pm as they take on the LA Angels from Tempe Diablo Stadium. Shields has struggled this spring. In three starts he has only totaled nine innings and has posted an even 6.00 era. This game can be seen on MLB.tv, there is no radio coverage.
Robbie Erlin will have the ball tonight for the second game of a split squad weekend for the Padres. Erlin is one of the members of the roster who traveled to Mexico City for a weekend series against the Houston Astros. Erlin has pitched well in seven innings over three starts this spring and has posted an era of just 1.29. The game can be heard on the Mighty 1090am.
Follow Jake Harman on Twitter for more news surrounding the San Diego Padres, and San Diego State Aztecs baseball.
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