Ross, Padres top Rangers to end first half

Ross, Padres top Rangers to end first half

ARLINGTON -- Tyson Ross pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings as the Padres closed out the first half with a 2-1 victory over the Rangers on Sunday afternoon. The Rangers managed just three hits off Ross and had a ninth-inning rally fall short against San Diego closer Craig Kimbrel.

Rangers starter Yovani Gallardo was almost as good as Ross. He allowed one run in in 5 2/3 innings but still lost his second straight start. He is 7-8 despite a 2.62 ERA in 19 starts going into the All-Star break. The Rangers are three games under .500 at the All-Star break after going 1-7 on their homestand.

"I know everybody is a little bit disappointed," Gallardo said. "You want to be in first place, that's the attitude in Spring Training. The first half is over. We'll take the next few days off and be ready to go Friday."

Gallardo gets Venable looking

Ross ended the first half by going 3-0 with a 1.82 ERA in his last five starts. He walked two, struck out six and threw 98 pitches.

"His stuff has been electric," Padres interim manager Pat Murphy said. "His slider, at times, is as good as there is in the game. Every time out, he's been like this since I've been here."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Choo's indecision costs Rangers: A bizarre play led to the Padres' run in the second. Will Venable hit a ground ball off first baseman Mitch Moreland's glove that rolled into right field. Second baseman Rougned Odor chased after it while right-fielder Shin-Soo Choo did little to pursue the ball. Venable just kept on running and ended up with a triple. He scored on Will Middlebrook's grounder.

"I gave up too early," Choo said. "It's the outfielders responsibility to go after that ball."

Venable gets to third safely

Maurer keeps Ross' gem going: Right-hander Brandon Maurer replaced Ross with a runner on third base and the left-handed Odor at the plate in the seventh. Maurer struck out Odor to strand Adrian Beltre at third and keep the shutout intact. Maurer has allowed only 16 hits in his past 26 appearances. Lefties are 4-for-46 against him since May 16.

Too little, too late: The Rangers were 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position. Delino DeShields led off the fourth with a double against Ross. But Choo couldn't advance the runner. He struck out and then Prince Fielder and Beltre flied out to end the inning. Choo also grounded out weakly to first base with runners at the corners and two outs in the eighth.The Rangers didn't get a hit with runners in scoring position until a two-out run-scoring single by Odor in the ninth. The game ended with Leonys Martin striking out with runners at first and second against Kimbrel.

"The last week, we had a lot of opportunities with runners in scoring position and didn't come through," Choo said.

Kemp hot in Texas: Padres right fielder Matt Kemp added two base hits Sunday to add to what was already a successful series. Kemp went 6-for-13 with a home run, a double and two RBIs in the three-game series against Texas. He also extended his hitting streak to six games.

"Last two games here, he's been unbelievable," Murphy said. "If you look collectively at the last two games in Pittsburgh to now, he's been really, really good."

QUOTABLE
"We're at the point where we need to win games wherever we're at," -- Rangers manager Jeff Banister on his team's 16-26 record at home.

"I don't think [the demeanor] is much different. I think they reached down a little deeper the last couple of days, stayed resilient, believed and made things happen. I think that was the difference." -- Murphy on his team's past two games.

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The two starters have the longest homerless streaks in the Majors. Ross has not allowed a home run in 86 2/3 innings, and Gallardo has not given up one in his last 62 2/3 innings.

REVIEW
With two outs in the seventh, Jedd Gyorko attempted to steal second and was called out on a close play. San Diego challenged, but the call stood after a review that ended the half-inning.

Corporan throws out Gyorko

The Padres were subject to a crew-chief review two batters later, when Beltre hit a double to left field but didn't slide going into second base. A quick throw in from Justin Upton nearly got Beltre out, but the call on the field stood after a review.

Beltre safe at second

WHAT'S NEXT
Padres: James Shields will be on the mound when the Padres return from the All-Star break against the Rockies on Friday at 7:10 p.m. PT. Shields is 0-3 with a 4.79 ERA in his past seven starts.

Rangers: The Rangers have not yet announced their second-half rotation, but they get started after the All-Star break by playing the Astros at 7:10 p.m. CT Friday at Minute Maid Park. The Rangers swept the Astros from May 4-6 at Minute Maid Park, and are 26-20 on the road this season.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. Cody Stavenhagen is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.