GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Robbie Ross went deeper into a game than any pitcher so far this spring for the Texas Rangers, and has allowed one earned run over 9 2/3 innings his last two starts.Ross is making a strong push to break camp in the rotation and his latest statement came by allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits with no walks and three strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings in what became a Rangers’ 5-4 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday afternoon.“I’ve tried to put the best out there and show them what I can do,” Ross said. “I’d love to be a starter because I love that feeling getting to go out there like I did today and try to win a game.”Ross handled everything thrown at him. A couple potential groundouts weren’t made in the first inning, but he got out of it by allowing only an unearned run. In the third inning, Ross gave up consecutive singles but got out of it by fielding a comebacker and covering first on a 3-6-1, inning-ending double play.The only blemish came during the sixth inning when he gave up a solo homer to Brandon Phillips.“He was getting ahead of hitters and putting them away,” manager Ron Washington said. “He had his good breaking ball, good sinker, using both sides of the plate, throwing the ball up, throwing the ball down. He did everything you can do as a pitcher out there today.”Washington wouldn’t speculate as to what the last two outings have done for Ross’ chances of making the rotation, simply saying: “He’s been throwing the ball extremely well.”Offensively, Prince Fielder hit his second homer of the spring in the fifth and Geovany Soto came through with a two-out, two-run single in the first.
Drew Davison, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @drewdavison