Pitching struggles are unfamiliar territory for Black's Padres

Pitching struggles are unfamiliar territory for Black's Padres

SAN DIEGO -- Here's something you probably haven't heard Padres manager Bud Black say a lot of during his eight-plus seasons with the team.

"A tough night for a lot of our pitchers," Black said.

That was certainly the case Tuesday, as four San Diego pitchers combined to allow 17 hits, including three home runs, while the Astros hung a 14-3 loss on the Padres.

The 14 runs were the most the Padres have allowed at spacious Petco Park since yielding 15 to the Braves on July 14, 2006.

Mazzoni's first MLB strikeout

But, in this young season, the rough night didn't exactly qualify as a minor hiccup.

The Padres, who have dropped six of their last seven games, have added nearly a run to their collective ERA during this fitful stretch -- going from 3.01 to 3.99.

The Padres are back at .500 (11-11) after winning 10 of their first 15 games.

On Tuesday night, Padres starter Tyson Ross allowed a two-run home run to Evan Gattis in the first, and four runs overall, before leaving after five innings. He struck out nine and walked two.

"It's early, it's a small sample size," Ross said. "Personally, I've got to be better and get back to what I did last year. Get a lot of ground balls, get my sinker going and I think the ship will be corrected."

Castro scores on a wild pitch

The Padres' bullpen has especially struggled, as their ERA has climbed from 3.21 to 4.98 in the last seven games.

"They jumped on our pitching. We didn't pitch well from the get-go," Black said. "We didn't make many quality pitches as the night went on. Especially out of our bullpen, that's a little alarming. The bullpen has been banged around a little bit."

Consider that in Black's first eight seasons (2007-14), the team had the second-best bullpen ERA (3.33) in the Majors, behind the Braves (3.29).

"We've got to rectify that," Black said.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.