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Ross can't recover from poor 1st inning as Padres lose to Cardinals 4-2

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ST. LOUIS - San Diego right-hander Tyson Ross simply took too long to get untracked against the Cardinals.

St. Louis capitalized on Ross' early difficulties to score twice in the first inning on the way to a 4-2 victory over the Padres on Friday night.

Ross finished with a six-inning quality start. He surrendered three runs and five hits, but walked four and hit two batters.

He bounced back and allowed just one run over his last five innings. But the early damage was too much to overcome.

"I needed to make an adjustment, and that didn't happen until the second inning," Ross said. "It's hard when you shoot yourself in the foot like that."

Ross threw balls on 12 of his first 16 pitches.

"He just couldn't get the ball in the zone," San Diego manager Bud Black said.

St. Louis starter Lance Lynn needed just 16 days to get even with the Padres

Matt Adams, Kolten Wong and Oscar Taveras hit RBI singles for St. Louis. San Diego has lost two in a row after a five-game winning streak.

Lynn (13-8) gave up one run and six hits, striking out six and walking one. The Padres handed him a 3-1 defeat on July 29.

Lynn actually felt as though he pitched better last month in San Diego when he allowed one earned run and four hits in six innings.

"Tonight was a grind from the get-go," Lynn said. "It could have been better."

St. Louis manager Mike Matheny disagreed, saying Lynn was at the top of his game.

"Lance was great," he said. "Another good night of using his fastball, mixing in the two-seam and four-seam. He had a real nice feel for all of his pitches."

Lynn has allowed two runs or fewer in 11 of his last 13 starts.

"He just goes out there and battles every day and give us solid starts," Wong said. "You have a pitcher like that, it definitely increases the morale of the team and makes us want to continue to play well."

The Padres took a grind-it-out approach at the plate, fouling off 21 pitches in Lynn's 102-pitch stint.

Pat Neshek posted his fourth save. Regular closer Trevor Rosenthal was given the night off after two successive appearances.

Pinch-hitter Yasmani Grandal homered with two outs in the Padres' ninth. After Chris Nelson doubled, Neshek struck out Will Venable.

Ross (11-11) walked the first three batters in the first, and Adams hit an RBI single. Jhonny Peralta followed with a run-scoring groundout.

Wong pushed the lead to 3-0 with an RBI single in the fourth. It was his team-high 27th RBI with two outs.

San Diego got within 3-1 on a double by Venable in the fifth. Lynn retired Tommy Medica and Seth Smith with runners on second and third to preserve the lead.

The Padres have scored in the ninth inning in the first two games of the series.

"These guys play hard," Black said of the Cardinals. "They play all 54 outs and beyond at times. That's just the way we play. It's what we do."

Taveras had a pinch-hit single in the eighth.

The Cardinals are 22-7 at home against San Diego since 2006.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Padres: 1B Yonder Alonso is on the 15-day disabled list after straining his right forearm in Tuesday's 4-1 win over the Rockies. It is his second stint on the DL this season. He missed 30 games with right wrist tendinitis from June 19 to July 26.

Cardinals: C Yadier Molina was able to do some light throwing on Thursday, 35 days after undergoing surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb. Matheny said that Molina is progressing at a faster rate than first expected. He was projected to miss eight to 12 weeks, but appears ahead of schedule.

"I can't wait to grab a bat and see how the hand reacts," Molina said.

UP NEXT

St. Louis RHP Shelby Miller (8-9, 4.17) faces RHP Jesse Hahn (7-3, 2.52) in the third game of the four-game series on Saturday. Miller has given up a team-high 17 home runs and walked a team-high 58 batters in 133 2-3 innings.

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