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Apparently, there was a reason for Clayton Richard’s poor performances in his last two outings that weren’t explained until Sunday morning. Richard has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with persistent symptoms from a flu bug he came down with at the end of April while the Padres were visiting the San Francisco Giants.

The virus traveled sporadically around the clubhouse, but only Richard remains affected by it. Richard missed his next start after contracting the bug, then pitched ineffectively his next two starts including Saturday.

In all, Clayton has lost a total of 12 pounds according to manager Buddy Black. Richard has an appointment with a gastroenterologist on Monday. “We are trying to get to the bottom of this,” Black said, hinting tongue-in-cheek at how the condition is likely affecting Clayton.

The corresponding move to fill the 25-man roster in the absence of Richard is that Tyson Ross has been reinstated from the disabled list. Ross was placed on the DL on April 20 (retroactive to April 18) with a left shoulder subluxation.

According to Buddy, Ross will not fill the starting spot of Richard, but rather pitch out of the bull pen. This is in part due to the shoulder being under stress when Ross bats, which isn’t likely to happen when pitching in relief.

The Padres instead will use a four-man rotation for a short time. This is made possible by off-days on Thursday, May 9, and Monday, May 13, enabling the club to use just four starters and not compromise the normal number of days off that each pitcher is accustomed to.

Tyson Ross, 26, was acquired this past off-season in a trade with the Oakland Athletics that saw Ross and A.J. Kirby-Jones come to the Padres in exchange for Andy Parrino and Andrew Werner. Ross has started in three games for the Padres this season, going 0-1 in 14 innings pitched with an earned run average of 3.86 and 12 strikeouts against 10 walks.

Clayton Richard is 0-4 in 6 starts with the Padres this season and an earned run average of 8.54 in 26 innings pitched. Richard came to the Padres in the 2009 season as part of the deal that sent Jake Peavy to the Chicago White Sox.

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