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Apr 23, 7:59 PM EDT

Ross struggles early as Padres fall 2-1 to Rockies


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DENVER (AP) -- Tyson Ross didn't have anywhere close to his best command, which usually means an early exit for a pitcher at Coors Field.

Somehow, though, Ross kept the score down and San Diego in the game.

That is, until Corey Dickerson hit a go-ahead homer in the fifth, sending the Colorado Rockies to a 2-1 win over the Padres on Thursday in a rare low-scoring affair at the hitter-friendly park.

It was Dickerson's third solo shot in two days despite playing with pain in his left heel caused by plantar fasciitis.

"He was a Padre killer," said Padres manager Bud Black, whose team split the four-game series. "He's a productive player. We've seen it unfold before us the last couple of years. He's a good hitter."

Ross (1-1) struggled to locate his pitches but still found ways to minimize the damage. He surrendered two runs in five innings, then was pulled after 106 pitches. He walked four and struck out seven as he fell to 0-5 against Colorado.

"He threw some pitches that I thought from the side looked real close," Black said. "Some real borderline pitches that didn't go his way. But at the end of the day he gave us a chance to win, even though he wasn't at the top of his game."

Yonder Alonso kept up his hot hitting with three singles, including one in the fourth that drove in San Diego's run.

Dickerson's homer off Ross was a big lift on a day when runs were scarce. This was the 25th time a game at Coors Field ended in a 2-1 score, according to the Rockies.

"I have to attack the zone and get ahead more often," Ross said. "If I stayed ahead more often I might get more calls."

Jordan Lyles (2-1) adjusted his mechanics for this start, resisting the urge to fall toward the first-base side when he uncorked his fastball. That led to better control as he shut down one of baseball's top-hitting teams, allowing one run and six hits in 6 2-3 innings.

"Overall, I thought we made great strides and effort of limiting mistakes - walks and unnecessary walks - that I've had earlier this season," Lyles explained.

Lyles had runners on first and second with two outs in the seventh, when he was pulled for Scott Oberg. Recently recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque, Oberg struck out pinch-hitter Justin Upton with a 95 mph fastball to end the threat.

DOUBLE DUTY

Odrisamer Despaigne pitched the eighth inning Thursday after earning the win against the Rockies as a starter on Monday.

His role going forward will mostly be in long relief as Ian Kennedy (strained left hamstring) returns to the starting rotation Saturday against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

"Whatever outing and in any role, (Despaigne) can succeed," Black said. "We like his versatility."

AXFORD'S BIG DAY

Reliever John Axford struck out Alexi Amarista to end the game and earn his second save. But that wasn't the highlight.

Earlier in the day, his 2-year-old son Jameson had a procedure on his right foot that "went well." His son was bitten twice by a rattlesnake last month in the yard of the house his family rented in Scottsdale, Arizona, for spring training. Jameson recently returned home after spending four weeks in the hospital for treatment.

"Now that my son is home, we get to spend some quality time together," Axford said.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Padres: Black kept Upton out of the starting lineup so he could rest his sore left quadriceps.

Rockies: Manager Walt Weiss no longer holds his breath in fear of a possible injury when shortstop Troy Tulowitzki dives for a ball or stretches a single into a double. "I think it's because I'm getting used to him running around like his old self," Weiss said of Tulowitzki, who played in 91 games last season before having hip surgery.

UP NEXT

Padres: RHP Andrew Cashner (1-2, 2.65) takes the mound Friday as the Padres return home for a three-games series with Los Angeles. Righty Zack Greinke (2-0, 1.83) goes for the Dodgers.

Rockies: Righty Eddie Butler (2-1, 2.25) opens a three-game set against San Francisco. The Giants counter with righty Chris Heston (2-1, 0.87).

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