- Associated Press - Saturday, March 22, 2014

PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) - Tyson Ross settled in Saturday as San Diego’s No. 3 starter with 6 2-3 innings of solid work in a 3-3 tie with a Chicago White Sox split-squad on the same day that the Padres lost starter Josh Johnson for four to five weeks with an injury to his right forearm.

Padres manager Bud Black announced Johnson’s injury after Ross gave up one run and six hits.

“He’s really frustrated - in his words, he’s devastated,” Black said of Johnson, who signed a one-year, $8 million contract in November.

“He felt so good coming into December and into January. He felt really good coming into spring training. He felt great up until his last outing.

“Hopefully, it’s nothing more than a strain.”

Johnson last pitched on Tuesday against the Seattle Mariners. Black said he complained of pain the next day. Johnson won’t throw for 10 to 14 days, Black said.

“We’ll re-evaluate at that time, and hopefully the pain and soreness will have subsided by then,” said Black, who earlier Saturday said that Ian Kennedy would the No. 2 starter and Ross No. 3 in a rotation led by Andrew Cashner.

“Hopefully, we can then get him on a throwing program and get him back up to speed,” Black said of Johnson.

Johnson was scheduled for a spring start Sunday against the Texas Rangers. In four prior starts, the 30-year-old had a 3.38 ERA. Last season in Toronto, Johnson was troubled by a strained forearm. He had offseason surgery to have bone spurs and loose particles removed from his elbow.

“It’s a big blow, no doubt,” said Ross, who also struck out four in his fifth spring start. We’re all going to have to pull together, step up and support him as much as possible.”

With Johnson sidelined, Matt Wisler, Donn Roach and left-hander Robbie Erlin are possibilities for San Diego’s starting rotation. Wisler is scheduled to move into Johnson’s starting spot against the Rangers on Sunday.


White Sox: Prospect Chris Beck, who was sent to minor league camp Wednesday, was impressive in his second spring start. Over five innings, he gave up one run and five hits. He also had five strikeouts while walking only one. He threw 79 pitches, 47 strikes. In his only other spring start, the 23-year-old right-hander allowed two earned runs and four hits over three innings.

Padres: Ross threw 94 pitches, 60 strikes. “I felt really strong,” said Ross, who will keep on schedule with a minor-league start on Thursday. “I got in some real good work on my changeup. The most encouraging thing for me is that I’m progressing, but also know that I have a long way to go.” Ross will make his first start on April 2 against the Los Angeles Dodgers in San Diego.


Padres: Outfielder Chris Denorfia missed his third straight game because of a sore right shoulder. Denorfia, who is hitting .207 in 29 at-bats this spring, was a late scratch Thursday night from a game with the Giants. “We think he’s going to be fine,” Black said. … Outfielder Cameron Maybin is working his way back from a ruptured biceps muscle suffered on March 2 against the Dodgers. He played catch and fielded grounders Saturday. His rehab was expected to take four to six weeks. … Pitcher Joe Wieland was scheduled to see Cincinnati Reds physician Dr. Timothy Kremchek for an update on his sore right elbow. No surgery is expected. Wieland, who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2012, missed all of last season. … Outfielder Alex Dickerson was back in camp after no torn ligaments were found in a badly-sprained left ankle during an MRI in San Diego.

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