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Sunday, April 8, 2012
Robbie Ross has memorable debut

By Richard Durrett

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Wouldn't you know that Sunday morning, less than 12 hours before Robbie Ross made his major league debut, his parents (Chuck and Julie) and brother (Isaac) headed back home to Kentucky?

"My brother had to get back to school," Ross said. "But I've got a game ball for my dad."

Ross pitched for the first time in a big league game and made it a memorable one, tossing a scoreless frame that included a strikeout of Paul Konerko.

"It was unreal," Ross said. "It was exactly like I expected it was going to be. I was as anxious as I could be and butterflies all over the place. It ended up being OK."

Ross walked the first batter he faced, Gordon Beckham, which meant that he had to pitch to the Nos. 3-5 hitters. That included Adam Dunn, Konerko and Alex Rios.

"He didn't have an easy inning with those hitters out there," manager Ron Washington said. "He did the job."

Ross said he told himself to calm down and not be afraid to let his defense pick him up.

"Just keep the ball down," Ross said. "It was fun. When I walked the first guy, I was like 'I've got to get the bal in play. I've got an unbelieveable outfield and infield, why not let them back me up?' Once I locked in, I got the ball down a little bit."

When Ross struck Konerko out for the second out of the inning, Yorvit Torrealba made sure to toss the ball to the dugout for Ross.

"I'll send that to my dad," Ross said. "He keeps all that stuff. I was just trying to get the ball in play and sometimes you strike a guy out. That's what happened with him."

Ross made the leap from Double-A at the end of 2011 to the big leagues in 2012 thanks to a tremendous spring training. The 5-0 score in the eight allowed Washington and pitching coach Mike Maddux to get him into a game in a good spot. Ross took advantage.

"I just have to keep it going now," Ross said.