Bud Black chats with reporters about injured players

PEORIA, Ariz. -- A misstep in a warm-up drill has left Padres outfielder Alex Dickerson with a severe left ankle sprain that will land him on the disabled list to begin the season.

"It was just a freak accident," said Dickerson, who had an MRI on Monday.

Dickerson and the rest of the team were going through their daily warm-ups on a practice field before beginning drills. Dickerson didn't get very far.

"We were doing bounds and I went up and when I came down, I came down with my toe down and it caught a little divot in the grass," Dickerson said. "I guess I caught it wrong with all my weight going in the wrong direction. It folded in and cracked. It was painful.

"I don't think I could do that again if I tried."

Dickerson said there was considerable pain on Saturday, but it has lessened by Monday morning. He's hoping the injury won't keep him out long.

"As long as the MRI comes out clean, hopefully it's just a sprain. Hopefully it heals quickly," he said. "... That's all I can do at this point."

Dickerson, after a slow start the plate, had raised his average to .280 with two home runs and seven RBIs in 25 at-bats. He has worked closely with hitting coaches Phil Plantier and Alonzo Powell to iron some things out in his left-handed swing.

"It's been slowing myself down and making sure my head was staying back was a real big key," said Dickerson, who will likely open the season with Triple-A El Paso.

"Once I did that, everything else fell in after that, was seeing the ball better. When I get back, I'll focus on those same things and hopefully the swing will come with it."

Too many strikes may be behind Ross' tough outing

Black discusses Ross' progression in camp

PEORIA, Ariz. -- A year ago, in his first spring with the Padres, pitcher Tyson Ross struggled at times with getting his pitches in the strike zone.

That certainly wasn't the case Monday -- for better or worse.

Ross allowed six earned runs on 12 hits over 4 1/3 innings -- but had six strikeouts and no walks -- as the Rockies topped the Padres, 9-7, at the Peoria Sports Complex.

"I was definitely in the strike zone today, which has always been a battle for me," Ross said.

Ross yielded five doubles in the Rockies' five-run fourth inning, as the glaring sun and blustery conditions turned pitches out over the plate into adventures for outfielders.

But Ross, who saw his Cactus League ERA jump from 3.24 to 6.39, wasn't about to make excuses for his performance.

"I just left some balls up," he said. "I got to two strikes on a lot of guys and couldn't finish them. That is going to be an emphasis moving forward ... when I get two strikes, bury them."

Ross threw some good sliders -- which is his plus-pitch -- including one to strike out Troy Tulowitzki to end the third inning. He also threw some changeups, including several to left-handed hitters.

"The feel is starting to come, the confidence is starting to come," Ross said of his confidence with throwing the changeup.

Boyer day to day after getting hit with liner Sunday

LAA@SD: Boyer strikes out Stewart in the sixth

PEORIA, Ariz. -- As a non-roster invitee to big league camp, pitcher Blaine Boyer knows the importance of making the most of each outing he makes this spring.

So when Boyer was hit in the left foot by a line drive on Sunday against the Royals, his first thought was to finish the inning, which he did.

His second thought was that this injury wasn't going to keep him from the mound.

"Nothing is going to stop me from pitching," said Boyer, whose foot was heavily wrapped in the morning.

San Diego general manager Josh Byrnes said late Monday that Boyer was sore and is listed as day-to-day.

Boyer took the loss on Sunday, as he allowed three runs in the 10th inning of the Royals' 9-6 victory over the Padres at the Peoria Sports Complex. Those three runs were the first he's allowed all spring. He tossed seven scoreless innings before that.

"He had pitched very well," said Padres manager Bud Black. "He had been impressive and opened some eyes."

Short hops

• Left-hander Max Fried, rated the No. 43 prospect in baseball and No. 1 with the Padres, according to MLB.com, played catch on Monday for the first time since the team shut down his throwing program last month when he reported soreness in his left forearm.

The team has been cautious with Fried. He could start the regular season in extended Spring Training in Arizona before reporting to Class A Lake Elsinore.