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Ross eager to get back into Padres' rotation

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BALTIMORE -- It's not like Padres pitcher Tyson Ross is itching to swing a bat again, though he's certainly itching to pitch again.

Preferably as a starter.

Ross missed 14 games with a subluxation of his left shoulder, an injury sustained when he got his first Major League hit (off the Dodgers Clayton Kershaw), and he returned from the disabled list on May 5. In his first game back on Saturday, Ross gave the Padres extended innings in relief against the Rays when Burch Smith lasted only one inning.

Ross tossed four scoreless innings, keeping the score close in a game the Padres eventually lost, 8-7.

Ross is pitching in the bullpen until his (non-throwing) shoulder is deemed healthy enough for him to swing a bat again. Once that happens, he'll go back into the starting rotation.

"We still see him as a starting pitcher," said Padres manager Bud Black. "But that will be left shoulder related and whether he's physically able to do that. Right now, his strength is improving. In due time, he has to get in a cage."

So far, so good, Ross said.

"It's been good," Ross said. "I'm still able to pitch with it. It was nice to get some work the other day. I was happy to get an extended outing. I've just been getting treatment, doing exercises and I've been feeling good.

"We want to push it, so I'll see the doctors when we can get home. Hopefully, they can extend my leash a little."

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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