Ross closing out season in strong form

Padres right-hander strikes out 11 Giants to pass 200 K's

Ross closing out season in strong form

SAN DIEGO -- Last September, the Padres put a premature close on Tyson Ross' dreamy 2014 season.

This fall, Ross appears intent on going wire to wire, as he tied his career high in strikeouts Tuesday in the Padres' 4-2 loss to the Giants at Petco Park.

Ross allowed two runs on four hits with two walks and had 11 strikeouts in six innings, with nine strikeouts coming in the first four innings alone.

In his last two starts, Ross has struck out 20 and allowed three runs in 12 innings.

"I just had a good two-seamer going and my slider was biting harder and I missed a lot of at-bats," Ross said.

That's a far cry from last season when Ross, who was an All-Star a year ago, had his season cut short in September due to what was termed a strain of the flexor muscles in his right forearm.

"Last year I was pretty disappointed in myself I wasn't able to finish it out. But it was a big leap in innings and being a starter the entire season, so it was a little unchartered waters," Ross said.

"This offseason I wanted to heal up, get strong and go wire to wire."

Ross, who will likely get two more starts, became the second pitcher on the staff to eclipse the 200-strikeout mark. He has 205 strikeouts. James Shields (208) did it Sunday against the Rockies.

On Tuesday, in his 32nd start of the season, a career best, struck out the first four hitters he faced and eight of the first 10. His slider had just as much bite as it had in April, and his newest pitch, the cutter, also had plenty of movement.

The Giants got to Ross for a run with two outs in the fifth inning as Trevor Brown had an RBI double. A second run came one inning later on another two-out hit, this time an RBI single by Brandon Crawford. But that was essentially it.

"Tyson once again pitched well enough to win," Padres interim manager Pat Murphy said of Ross, who dropped to 10-11.

In terms of workload, Ross is at 190 innings -- just shy of last season's 195 2/3-inning total. He sees no reason why he can't finish what he started in April.

"I had to reinvent myself a little this year and add a new pitch with the cutter. As the league adjusts to you, you need to adjust back to it. I'm happy now with my innings," he said.

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