The San Diego Padres have been shut out more than any other team this season, with nearly a quarter of those defeats coming with Tyson Ross on the mound.
After getting blanked once again, the Padres hope to provide some run support for their lone All-Star as they conclude a four-game set with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday at Chavez Ravine.San Diego (41-53) is by far the majors' worst hitting team with a .214 average and 2.96 runs per game. The Padres were shut out for the 13th time Saturday and wasted an eight-inning gem from Ian Kennedy in a 1-0 loss.The starters have a 2.25 ERA over the last eight games, but the Padres have only won twice in that stretch.Ross (7-9, 2.93 ERA) has started four times when the Padres have been held scoreless, and the lack of run support has become a sour theme for him this season.The right-hander is 1/3 despite a 1.86 ERA over his last four starts and he's received four runs of support in 47 innings over his last seven outings. He continued his solid first half Tuesday, allowing two runs and striking out six in six innings of a 2-1 loss to Colorado.Ross, a first-time All-Star in his second full season who won't be able to pitch in the Midsummer Classic due to this outing, has walked only two over his last 29 innings."It's just the confidence that I have in my fastball," Ross said. "Before, a lot of times I was falling behind guys. I think now I'm in the strike zone a lot more."Ross has received only one run of support in two starts against the Dodgers this season, losing both while posting a 3.75 ERA. He most recently allowed three runs -- two earned -- in seven innings of a 4-2 defeat to the Dodgers on June 21.Los Angeles (53-43) guaranteed itself at least a share of the NL West lead heading into the All-Star break, but it's been struggling offensively lately as well.The Dodgers have scored seven runs over their last four and mustered only four hits Saturday before A.J. Ellis hit the winning sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth.Adrian Gonzalez had two hits, but Yasiel Puig went 0 for 2 before being ejected while arguing balls and strikes in the third.The Dodgers may need plenty more offense in this contest if Hyun-jin Ryu's outing is anything like his last.Ryu (9-5, 3.65) allowed seven runs in 26 innings while going 2-1 over his previous four starts, but he matched that total while giving up 10 hits in just 2 1/3 of Tuesday's 14-5 loss to Detroit. The left-hander's ERA shot up more than one-half point from 3.08."My command was not there," Ryu said. "I'd miss by a foot or right down the middle, nothing on the edges. I learned again that with major league hitters, you can't pitch in the middle."Ryu has held the Padres' lineup in check, though, going 2-0 with a 0.93 ERA in three starts, including two this season. He last faced San Diego on June 22, giving up one run and four hits in six innings of a 2-1 win.