Smooth sailing for Ross in first spring start

Smooth sailing for Ross in first spring start

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The only drama that Padres pitcher Tyson Ross faced during his two-inning stint in Saturday's 9-5 loss to the Rockies actually had nothing at all to do with a batted ball.

It was a throw from his catcher, Christian Bethancourt.

"I was lucky that I got out of the way fast enough when he threw down to second base," Ross said of Bethancourt's throw to second base to catch Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon trying to steal a base in the first inning.

"I've been laughing all camp, he's got a good arm and he keeps it low. It's heads-up if he throws down."

That was the lone moment of stress for Ross, who last month was named as the team's Opening Day starter, the first time he's gotten that nod in his career.

Ross tossed two scoreless inning, allowing an infield single to Nolan Arenado, had one walk and one strikeout in a fairly thrifty 28-pitch outing that saw him toss 15 strikes.

"I think it was a good first step for me this spring," Ross said. "… It was nice to work with Bethancourt today."

The Padres are trying to get Bethancourt -- acquired in December from the Braves -- up to speed with the staff in the event he wins the backup job to Derek Norris.

Ross, throwing two- and four-seam fastballs and sliders, got a double-play ball in the second inning from Gerardo Parra on a two-seamer.

"It was fun to watch [new shortstop Alexei Ramirez] turn a double play. It's going to be fun to watch him all season," Ross said.

Ross got a little of everything on Saturday. He had to work out of the stretch and hold a runner on base. He'll likely go three innings or 45 pitches the next time out.

But for Saturday, his first time in a game, this worked for him -- and new Padres manager Andy Green

"He wasn't quite as sharp as he'll be a few outings from now, but he got through his two innings of work, had sink on his fastball, relied predominantly on it, tried to stay away from the slider. He's trying to find fastball command right now," Green said. "It's a good start. He was solid."

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.