A small mechanical change in Tyson Ross' delivery led to big things his last time out when he threw eight scoreless innings against the Giants.
Ross will try to lean on those fixes again Wednesday when the Padres conclude their three-game series against the Brewers at Miller Park in what should be a dandy pitchers' duel.
Kyle Lohse, who like Ross is off to a fast start, will try to win his fourth game of the season - even if that means facing someone other than the Pirates.
Lohse beat the Bucs in each of his last two starts, against whom he's 11-2 lifetime. He's had less success against San Diego, going 5-4 with a 4.31 ERA in 11 career starts, including a pair of victories last season. Lohse limited the Padres to a run and five hits in each of those outings -- a five-inning start on April 22 and a seven-inning start on July 24. He struck out 10 total batters in those games and walked only one.
He will have to be just as good again if the Brewers can't get their offense in gear at hitter-friendly Miller Park. They have scored a Major League-best six runs per game on the road, but only 2.36 runs per game at home.
"It's a good hitter's park," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "We'll hit here."
As for Ross, he anchored his right foot more to the rubber in his last start against the Giants and really focused on using more of his lower body in his delivery instead of trying to muscle the ball.
The results were stunning; eight scoreless innings, nine strikeouts, four hits allowed. The mechanical fix did wonders, said manager Bud Black.
"He [previously] just sort of reverted back to sort of muscling the ball with his upper body and not really driving off the mound and keeping his right foot securely against the rubber and pushing off," Black said. "When a pitcher doesn't use his lower half, his stuff's going to suffer."
Padres: Maybin getting closer
Outfielder Cameron Maybin, who ruptured his left biceps tendon on March 2, could be close to rejoining the Padres.
Black said Monday that Maybin could rejoin the team during this 10-game road trip that begines in Washington D.C. on Thursday before a three-game series in San Francisco starting Monday.
Maybin had his best day thus far on his Minor League rehabilitation stint Tuesday playing for Triple-A El Paso, as he had three hits, including a home run. He scored two runs and knocked in two runs.
In 34 at-bats with El Paso, Maybin is hitting .235 with three extra-base hits and eight strikeouts.
The Padres will have to make a roster move when Maybin rejoins the team and that could be dropping one of their three catchers or optioning outfielders Tommy Medica or Xavier Nady.
Brewers: Versatility being tested
With Martin Maldonado serving a five-game suspension, the Brewers are down to a 24-man roster that includes only one catcher. The rules don't allow teams to replace players suspended for on-field matters like brawls.
Utility man Elian Herrera is the interim back-up for regular catcher Jonathan Lucroy, with infielder Jeff Bianchi available in a pinch.
"If everything goes well, we're OK," Roenicke said, before adding, "but sometimes you want to make moves, and you know when you have Maldy sitting there, you can do whatever you want to do. [Missing him] makes a big difference."
• First baseman Yonder Alonso appeared to be in serious pain in the seventh inning of Monday's 4-3 loss to the Brewers after he took a throw off his right elbow while sliding into second base while attempting to break up a double play. Alonso grabbed at his elbow and a trainer accompanied him to the dugout.
"I wasn't expecting that ball to hit me," Alonso said. "It was a crazy event. But ball got me right on the elbow. But it will be all right."
Alonso, coming off his second two-hit game of the season, was back at first base Tuesday.