San Diego, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Tyson Ross pitched his first career shutout and received some rare run support from the San Diego Padres, who came through with a 3-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds to earn their first series sweep of the season.
Ross (7-8) limited the Reds to three hits -- two of which came after the sixth inning -- and struck out nine without a walk in a dominant performance that carried San Diego to its fourth straight win, matching a season high.
"There was going to come a time for this game," Padres manager Bud Black remarked. "He's been close a couple times and I didn't feel as though he was quite there and he probably didn't feel like he was quite there, but he was there today."
The Padres had mustered a paltry one run with Ross on the hill during his last five starts, which spanned a total of 32 innings. They put up three with one swing, however, when Rene Rivera cleared the bases with a single in the bottom of the first.
"It was a great team win today," said Ross. "I had great defense behind me and Rene was working his butt off behind the plate."
Johnny Cueto (8-6) kept San Diego off the board over the remainder of his seven-inning stint and notched eight strikeouts in a hard-luck loss for the inconsistent Reds, who had won four straight at NL West-leading San Francisco prior to dropping all three matchups of this set.
While Ross began his outing by recording 11 consecutive outs, Cueto got into some early trouble when singles by Chris Denorfia and Chase Headley followed by a walk to Tommy Medica loaded the bases with one out.
Rivera then delivered a sinking liner that popped out of the glove of a diving Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton, with Denorfia and Headley scoring easily on the play and Medica beating the throw home for a quick 3-0 advantage.
That was more than enough for Ross, who set down 19 of the first 20 Cincinnati hitters, permitting just a Jeff Frazier single in the fourth inning during that stretch. Frazier singled again and was left stranded in the seventh, with a Brayan Pena double in the eighth accounting for the Reds' only other baserunner of the day.
"Basically, the offense wasn't there. That's not us and we know it," said Frazier. "You tip your caps to them, that was great pitching. But all-in-all we know we're a better hitting team."
The Padres nearly extended their lead when Seth Smith laced an opposite-field double in the bottom of the fourth that appeared to plate Irving Falu, but the run was disallowed after replays showed Falu failed to touch third base on a challenge from Cincinnati manager Bryan Price.