July 09, 2015

Though the San Diego Padres expected more from their revamped roster this season, a dramatic win heading into the All-Star break could have tide-turning potential.

Two in a row would be even better.

The Padres will go for just that Sunday against the Texas Rangers, who hope to end a dismal homestand on a positive note.

Capped by Yangervis Solarte's two-out, go-ahead two-run homer, San Diego (40-49) scored three in the ninth inning Saturday to top Texas 6-5. The Padres had dropped nine of 11 and were 1-43 when trailing after eight innings.

"What they did in the ninth, really important," Padres interim manager Pat Murphy told MLB's official website. "There's days you feel like you'll never win another game and nothing goes your way, every lineout, every call. You start being a victim. They owned that ninth inning, and that's what it's about."

The six runs represented the Padres' largest output in 12 games. They averaged 1.9 runs and batted .186 in the previous 11 contests.

Texas (42-45) has lost 14 of 19, including six of seven on this homestand. Mitch Moreland hit two home runs for the third time in 11 games, but closer Shawn Tolleson blew his first save of the season.

"Tolley has been great all year," Colby Lewis said. "We all go through things. You're not going to be perfect every time out. It's just one of those things. We don't have any less confidence in him."

Seeking to salvage four wins on its 10-game road trip, San Diego will go with Tyson Ross (5-7, 3.56 ERA), who figures to be fresh considering his two-inning stint on Tuesday in which the right-hander was pulled following a lengthy rain delay.

In his last three full outings, Ross is 2-0 with a 2.57 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 21 innings. He has allowed three or fewer runs in 16 of his 18 starts this season - yielding four runs in each of the other two - and has a 2.68 ERA in his last eight on the road.

Ross has the longest active homerless streak in the majors at 80 innings, last surrendering one April 28.

Yovani Gallardo (7-7, 2.67) has also been very difficult to take deep, going nine-plus starts and 60 innings without allowing one.

His 33 1-3 scoreless innings streak to come to an end Tuesday in a 4-2 loss to Arizona. The right-hander did not yield a run from June 15-July 2 while lowering his ERA from 3.45 to 2.56 in that span.

"I knew about it, but I wasn't thinking about it too much. I go out there every night trying not to give up runs," Gallardo told MLB's official website. "It was fun, now it's a matter of starting up another one."

Albeit less impressive, Gallardo does own an eight-inning scoreless stretch against the Padres, who he shut down for six innings on Aug. 27 while with Milwaukee.

Matt Kemp is 7 for 17 (.412) with two homers in his last four games, and is hitting .300 with a home run and two doubles against Gallardo. He has picked up the slack for Justin Upton, who is batting .105 in his last 10 games.

Texas' 16 home wins are tied with Milwaukee for the fewest in the majors.

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