For the first time in 2013, the San Diego Padres return home on the heels of a successful road trip.
The Padres, who haven’t played well away from Petco Park (21-35), completed a 6-4 trip Sunday when they beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 1-0 behind right-hander Tyson Ross.
Better yet for the Pads, who are hurting for starting pitching, it was Ross’s second strong start since he was reinstalled in the rotation after the All-Star break. Ross (2-4), who tossed eight innings of two-hit ball Sunday, won two of the victories on the recent trip.
In those two games Ross has allowed one run and five hits in 15 innings while striking out 13. “That was an outstanding pitching performance by Tyson,” manager Bud Black said.
“Today was a steady diet of good pitches in the right spots. … In a 1-0 game, every pitch is critical. Tyson was great … repeating, repeating, repeating good pitches.”
More good news for the Padres is that Sunday’s run was courtesy of a Chase Headley triple and a Carlos Quentin two-out single. Headley has raised his batting average to .238 — up about 20 points from early July.
Quentin has quietly solidified the cleanup spot. Despite an April suspension (inciting a brawl with the Dodgers) and knee problems he leads the team in home runs (13) and RBIs (45). He had 10 RBIs on the 10-game road trip and is hitting .294 in July with 13 extra-base hits.
The Padres will need good play from their best players in the upcoming homestand, which starts Monday with a three-game series against Cincinnati. Then the Yankees come to town for their first-ever visit to Petco, followed by a quick two-game set against the Orioles.
The Padres have played well at home (27-23), and their recent success has leap-frogged them over the Giants into fourth place in the National League West. They’re three games behind third-place Colorado.
Notes — Right-hander Jason Marquis said he will have Tommy John-style elbow ligament replacement surgery, possibly as soon as this week. That probably ends his career with the Padres. Marquis, who turns 35 in August, says he would like to try to pitch again. … Closer Huston Street, who pitched the ninth inning Sunday, has converted 11 consecutive save opportunities, the last eight scoreless, lowering his ERA from 4.78 to 3.67. … As Wednesday’s nonwaiver trade deadline approaches, the most sought-after Padres are reportedly outfielder Chris Denorfia and reliever Luke Gregerson.