Noel's inside-the-park homer sparks Padres
Starter Ross pitches three scoreless innings, hasn't allowed a run this spring
MARYVALE, Ariz. -- It was another rough start for Matt Garza, who allowed three runs (two earned) over his first two innings of work Friday as the Brewers fell to the Padres, 6-2.
Garza, who allowed four runs in his first Cactus League appearance on March 2 against the Rockies, did settle down in the third inning, striking out two of the three batters he faced.
San Diego starting pitcher Tyson Ross faced 10 batters in his three-inning stint, walking two with three strikeouts. He got a double-play ground ball in the third inning to minimize damage.
Ross hasn't allowed a hit this spring in five innings of work.
"Another solid outing and another step in the right direction," said Ross, who threw 41 pitches, 25 for strikes. "I didn't get too tired out there. You don't want to be wilting."
Rico Noel, a Minor League outfielder, provided the highlight of the day with an inside-the-park home run, as Brewers' center fielder Elian Herrera couldn't come up with his line drive on a diving attempt.
The Padres got one run on three hits in the first inning against Garza, including an RBI single to center field by veteran Xavier Nady, who is trying to make the team on a non-roster deal.
The Padres then added two more runs in the second inning as Alex Dickerson drilled a solo home run to right field and Alexi Amarista singled to center to score Everth Cabrera from first base.
Cody Decker came off the bench to hit a two-run double in the seventh inning for the Padres.
As for Garza, like he did in his first outing, he worked with fastballs and changeups.
"With my mechanics, if I can spot my fastball, then my breaking balls are a lot easier to start locating," he said. "Hopefully, next outing I'm ready to go and we'll start flipping up the breaking balls. … [But] my mentality is, 'Start day? Let's go.' It's always business. Let's get our work in and start battling, start competing and get guys out even when you don't have your best stuff.
"That's why I like doing the first two starts fastball-changeup, because I know I can get guys with the slider and the curveball. Some days you don't have that, and you have to pitch with what you have. There were times today where I wanted to throw a slider or drop a curveball in, but it's that mentality to stay with [the plan] I want."
The Brewers didn't get a hit until the sixth inning when Herrera tripled to center field on a ball that Noel lost in the sun.
Herrera later scored when Scooter Gennett hit a two-run home run to right field off Padres pitcher Matt Wisler.
Up Next: Josh Johnson makes his second start of the spring at 12:05 p.m. PT on Saturday against the Indians at the Peoria Sports Complex. His first start, two scoreless innings against the Giants, left him excited, especially with his comfortability, his fastball command and the handful of changeups that he threw in the game. He'll likely go three innings and/or 45 or so pitches this time out. Two players who figure in the Padres' bullpen plans, Nick Vincent and Dale Thayer, are also scheduled to throw.