SD@SF: Ross strikes out five in 1 2/3 relief frames

SAN DIEGO -- Pitcher Tyson Ross made some noise with his right arm Wednesday, as he struck out the only five batters he faced in the Padres' 4-2 loss to the Giants at AT&T Park.

At some point soon, Ross hopes to make a little noise with his bat -- though he's had to retool his swing since suffering a subluxation of his left (non-throwing) shoulder swinging the bat in April.

Ross -- who began the season as the team's fifth starter -- landed on the disabled list on April 20 after he collected his first Major League hit, off the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw, no less. Ross eventually returned but in the bullpen, where he didn't have to worry much about hitting. He's had two at-bats since coming back from the disabled list, striking out twice.

The Padres still envision Ross as a starting pitcher, though there's no telling when he'll get that chance to move back into the rotation.

Until then, he'll continue to hone a new swing -- a simple and easy swing -- that he's worked on with hitting coach Phil Plantier in recent weeks.

"It's cool," Ross said. "I haven't had hitting lessons since I was 12. I've taken everything [Plantier] tells me seriously. We've worked on the approach and adopting a different setup to keep me in a safe position to hit. It's nice and easy, more throwing the hands [at the ball]."

Alonso's right hand healing, has splint removed

TOR@SD: Alonso injured after being hit by a pitch

SAN DIEGO -- First baseman Yonder Alonso, on the disabled list since June 1 with a right hand contusion, hopes to get clearance Monday to take part in baseball activities after visiting a hand specialist.

Alonso suffered a fracture of the metacarpal -- the bone above the knuckle -- on his middle finger when he was hit by a pitch on May 31.

He had been wearing a splint to immobilize the hand ever since landing on the disabled list, though he recently was able to take it off.

"I really want to burn it," Alonso joked.

Who can blame him? Alonso missed his 14th consecutive game with the injury Thursday, as the Padres opened a four-game series against the Dodgers at Petco Park.

Alonso is encouraged the hand is healing.

"[Training staff] took it off today and they started touching it around where it was hurting. [Before] it was probably an eight or nine [out of 10 on the pain scale]. But it's probably down to a three or four. It's made a significant amount of progress in the last week, week and a half."

Alonso is hoping a CT scan Monday could pave the way for him to resume his on-field baseball work. That said, it's not like he's been sitting around gathering dust.

"The good thing is I can run and have been able to do my top-hand stuff hitting. I've been doing a lot of baseball stuff. The hitting will be the easiest thing to come. I've been staying on top of it, watching a lot of film.

"But I've become more a student of the game. I watch a lot of film. I watch all the games, to get ready for when I do come back. I feel like I'm the third hitting coach, because I watch all the at-bats."

At the time of his injury, Alonso was hitting .284 with six home runs and 29 RBIs in 54 games this season. The Padres have mostly used Kyle Blanks at first base in his absence.

Injury update: Quentin improving, Gyorko inching closer

SD@COL: Quentin's two-run homer cuts into the deficit

SAN DIEGO -- Padres manager Bud Black doesn't think he will lose left fielder Carlos Quentin to the disabled list.

Quentin has been out of the lineup since he injured his left shoulder on the follow-through of a swing on Friday, missing the past five games.

Quentin had been on a roll at the plate before the injury, hitting .371 with two home runs and five RBIs in his last 10 games.

"Carlos is doing better, he's feeling better," Black said before Thursday's series opener with the Dodgers. "He's getting closer to hitting in the cage. He feels much better, he's doing fine."

Injured second baseman Jedd Gyorko took some ground balls on the field and hit in the cage Thursday, as he nears his return from the DL with a right groin strain.

Gyorko is eligible to be activated on Tuesday, however, Black wasn't sure if Gyorko would serve a rehab stint in Triple-A. If he does, it might not be more than a couple of games.

Prior to his injury, Gyorko was hitting .284 with eight home runs and 25 RBIs.

"He picked up the activity in San Francisco and picked it up again today," Black said.

Quentin and Gyorko are two of the Padres' five position players from the Opening Day lineup -- shortstop Everth Cabrera (strained left hamstring), first baseman Yonder Alonso (broken bone in his right hand), center fielder Cameron Maybin (torn left knee ligament) -- that are currently injured.