Robbie Ross cements case to join Rangers’ rotation

03/25/2014 6:23 PM

03/25/2014 8:04 PM

It’s not official yet, but Robbie Ross is expected to be in the Texas Rangers’ rotation when the season opens Monday.

Ross cemented his case to be among the five starters Tuesday afternoon, throwing seven scoreless innings in the Rangers’ 5-0 victory over the Cleveland Indians at Goodyear Ballpark.

“He’s still one of the five and he’s done nothing to change that,” manager Ron Washington said. “He’s been pitching his tail off. He really has. We’ve got to make a decision soon, but Robbie has done his job. Today was the best I’ve seen him pitch for the longest time I’ve seen him pitch.”

Ross pitched around potential jams all day and was economical with his pitches, needing only 89 to get through his seven innings.

Ross allowed base runners in six of his seven innings, but induced three inning-ending double plays. He also struck out four straight, including the side in the fifth.

Ross scattered four hits with three walks and eight strikeouts. He finished spring with a 1.27 ERA over five outings with 13 strikeouts to five walks.

“I did the best I could and it was a pretty good one this year,” Ross said. “I went out and tried to pitch to the best of my ability.”

Ross, 24, has a track record of starting success in the minor leagues. He was a full-time starter his first three professional seasons, going 26-20 with a 2.88 ERA over 69 games (68 starts). His lone relief appearance came during an early-season game he piggybacked.

Ross highlighted a day that started with news that Yu Darvish would not make his expected Opening Day start.

It also marked a good day for the offense. Shin-Soo Choo, who entered the game with a .146 average, had hits in his first two at-bats. Adrian Beltre had a two-run single in the first inning and Michael Choice swatted a two-run shot in the sixth.

Drew Davison, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @drewdavison

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