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SF@SD: Ross fans nine over eight shutout frames

While the Padres attempt to work their way out of their month-long hitting slump -- they've scored the fewest runs of any team in baseball -- they'll continue to lean on their pitching staff to keep them afloat against the D-backs.

In 2013, there were few better in baseball against the D-backs than right-hander Tyson Ross, who starts the series finale Sunday afternoon.

Ross had a 1.96 ERA in four appearances against Arizona last season, including three starts. On July 28, he tossed eight scoreless innings with seven strikeouts. Then, two months later, Ross limited the D-backs to one run in eight innings with six strikeouts.

Ross is looking for a big outing Sunday, as he's allowed five and four earned runs in each of his last two outings. The last time out, a win over the Giants on April 28, Ross got two big double-play balls in each of the first two innings to minimize damage.

"It was definitely a battle," Ross said, adding it was nice to get a win in his native Bay Area. "My off-speed was inconsistent, left some sliders up in the zone that they hit hard. Just a battle out there."

D-backs starter Wade Miley, who will oppose Ross on Sunday, can certainly relate.

The left-hander thought he had his good stuff when he took the mound against the Rockies in his last start, only to give up seven runs on 10 hits over six innings.

"I didn't do a very good job of executing pitches and it cost me," Miley said.

The Padres have not been a friendly foe for Miley in his career. He owns a 5.26 ERA against the Friars, by far his worst mark against any National League West team.

Even pitcher-friendly Petco Park has not been kind to Miley as he is 1-4 with a 4.04 ERA in six starts there.

D-backs: Worth an extra few days for Pollock
Whether injured outfielder A.J. Pollock is able to play Sunday depends on how his ailing groin feels when he shows up to the ballpark.

Pollock suffered the injury April 29 against the Rockies and he was out of the lineup the next day.

However, with the D-backs trailing by a pair of runs in the bottom of the ninth, Pollock was called on to pinch-hit. He hit a grounder to second and had to run full speed to first to just avoid what would have been a game-ending double play.

The D-backs went on to score two runs in that inning and won the game in the 10th.

"Actually, when I came in to pinch-hit the other day, everything felt fine," Pollock said. "I was running around fine. Of course, I hit a hard ball to second base with one out in the ninth inning and had to beat out a double play. That's kind of when I aggravated it again, beating that one out. It was 100 percent worth it [because] we won."

SD: Is Wisler coming fast?
After six successful starts with Double-A San Antonio, the Padres have promoted 21-year-old right-handed pitcher Matt Wisler to Triple-A El Paso.

Between last season and April, Wisler made 26 starts in Double-A, posting a 9-5 record and a 2.80 ERA.

Chances are good Wisler doesn't make half that many starts in El Paso. In fact, he appears to be on the fast track to reach the big leagues at some point this season.

The Padres' Nos. 4 and 5 starters, lefties Eric Stults and Robbie Erlin, have struggled of late and while there's no indication the team is ready to shake up the rotation, that doesn't mean it won't happen.

In parts of four seasons, Wisler is 16-10 with a 2.73 ERA in 57 appearances, including 55 starts.

Wisler was a candidate for the fifth spot in the Padres starting rotation before the team settled on Erlin, who is 1-4 with a 5.83 ERA in six appearances, five of which have been starts.

Worth noting
• Everth Cabrera has hit well against Miley in his career, going 8-for-14 with a triple and a home run.

• Alexi Amarista is 3-for-5 in his career against Miley with a triple.

• On the other hand the D-backs do not have many players with good numbers against Ross. Outfielder Gerardo Parra is 3-for-10 with a pair of doubles against him.

• Sunday might be a good day to give Miguel Montero his first off day in 10 games as he is 0-for-9 against Ross.

• Montero played in his 800th career game Saturday night.

• Ross has thrown his slider 203 times, most in the Majors, and has forced a swing on 52 percent and has gotten a swing and miss 43 percent of the time.

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