ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington could tell that reliever Robbie Ross was upset with himself and a bit down after he walked Prince Fielder (after being ahead in the count 0-2) and then threw a first-pitch ball to Delmon Young before he exited in favor of Mike Adams.
Adams ended up allowing a single to Young to load the bases but induced a ground ball forceout at the plate and a fly ball to end the inning with no damage done. The Rangers won in the bottom of the ninth on Mike Olt's RBI single.
But in the dugout after pulling Ross, Washington sat beside his young pitcher and had a quick chat with him.
"I had a conversation with Robbie last night just to let him know that in this game you struggle," Washington said. "He's been, all year, amazing. So now when struggles hit, that's when you become more amazing. You fight through it. I just wanted him to know that. We've got his back. We're not going to stop giving him the ball, but he's got to start throwing the ball in the strike zone. That was it."
Ross, who had a 0.95 ERA as the first half was ending, has given up six earned runs in his last seven innings (10 appearances). That's a 7.71 ERA, which has shoved his season total nearly a full run higher from where it was a month ago.
Adams said he also spoke with Ross and stressed that it's the dog days of the season and he has to grind it out.
"There's no perfection," Washington said. "The only thing we don't want him to do is quit on Robbie Ross. We don't want him quitting on himself. We're not going to quit on him."
* Washington said that since the club is slated to face so many right-handed pitchers coming up, he'll try to get Mike Olt into the lineup at some point to get him some action. If he does that, Adrian Beltre could DH or Washington might let Olt DH and give another player a day off.
* The day game allows the Rangers to get into New York at or before midnight, depending on when the game ends. Washington hopes that allows them to get some more rest and be fresher for the series with the Yankees.
* Washington said Saturday's game was a fun one to manage with it being tight and so many decisions to be made. "It didn't look it when I was sitting there, but it was a lot of fun," Washington said.