Texas Rangers: Robbie Ross

Richard Durrett benefit raises $200,000

September, 9, 2014
ARLINGTON, Texas -- A benefit concert to raise money for former ESPNDallas Rangers beat writer Richard Durrett raised more than $200,000 Monday night.

Durrett, who worked for ESPN since 2009, passed away June 17. He was 38.

The Do It For Durrett event at Billy Bob's Texas in Fort Worth had country music acts Randy Rogers, Daphne Willis, Casey Donahew, Wade Bowen and Rhett Miller perform in front on an estimated crowd of 2,000.

Several sports personalities attended the event including Texas Rangers' Colby Lewis, Derek Holland, Nick Tepesch, J.P. Arencibia, Neal Cotts, Robbie Rossamong other players.

GM Jon Daniels, assistant GM Than Levine and former Ranger Michael Young were in attendance as well.

To learn more about Richard and the concert go here.

W2W4: Rangers vs. Mariners

September, 4, 2014
The Texas Rangers begin a four-game series with the Seattle Mariners on Thursday night at Globe Life Park.

What's up with the Mariners?: Seattle (75-63) is just a half-game back of the second wild-card spot in the AL. The Mariners are in the midst of a seven-game road trip and lost two of three the last time they faced the Rangers. Seattle is 27-17 vs. left-handed pitching and has won five of the last seven against southpaws. In this series, the Mariners will face left-handers Robbie Ross and Derek Holland. It's the first time Seattle will take on a lefty since Aug. 20. Fernando Rodney is tied for third in the AL with 41 saves. Robinson Cano is fifth in batting average (.321) and fourth in hits (163).

What's up with the Rangers?: They've lost five consecutive games heading into a 10-game, 11-day homestand, which ties their longest stretch at home of their season. Daniel Robertson is hitting .346 with five doubles since Aug. 22. Elvis Andrus leads the team with 25 stolen bases, and Ryan Rua's had two hits Wednesday for his first mult-hit game of his career. The Rangers have used a MLB-record 61 players this season. Ross, who didn't allow a hit through five innings in Houston last week, was switched with Scott Baker (neck strain) in the rotation and will pitch Thursday. The Rangers went 3-for-28 with runners in scoring position in the three-game set vs. Kansas City.

Darvish's season over?: Rangers ace Yu Darvish will undergo an examination on his right elbow Thursday. Darvish hasn't pitched since Aug. 9 at Houston where he lasted just four innings, allowing six runs (five earned) in a loss. It's doubtful Darvish will return this season.

Do it for Durrett: A benefit concert for former ESPNDallas.com Rangers beat writer Richard Durrett, who passed away in June, will be held Saturday at Billy Bob's Texas in Fort Worth. The benefit will raise money for his wife and three kids. For more information go here.

Pitching matchups: Thursday: LHP Robbie Ross (2-5, 5.63) vs. LHP Roenis Elias (9-12, 3.97); Friday: RHP Scott Baker (3-3, 5.23) vs. RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (13-6, 2.90); Saturday: RHP Nick Martinez (3-10, 5.14) vs. Chris Young (12-7, 3.46); Sunday: LHP Derek Holland (0-0, 1.29) vs. LHP James Paxton (5-1, 1.91).

Five no-hit innings on four hours' sleep

August, 30, 2014
HOUSTON -- The journey for a no-hitter took a strange turn for Texas Rangers left-hander Robbie Ross on Saturday night.

He arrived in Dallas from Austin at 3 a.m. Saturday to catch a 9 a.m. flight. He landed in plenty of time for his spot start against the Houston Astros.

He encountered one problem: There was no room for him at the team hotel.

So Ross sat in the hotel lobby from noon to about 2 p.m.

[+] EnlargeRobbie Ross
AP Photo/Pat SullivanRobbie Ross got the hook after no-hitting the Astros through five innings as a precautionary measure.
When the Rangers arrived Thursday from Seattle, the two extra rooms were given to Derek Holland and Ryan Rua. LSU played Wisconsin on Saturday at Reliant Stadium, so hotel rooms in this city were scarce.

After Ross finally got to his room, he tried to take a nap. But he tossed and turned, afraid he would oversleep. Trouble looms when that happens.

So Ross arrived at Minute Maid Park on time and pitched wonderfully. He allowed no hits or runs in five innings. He was pulled by Rangers manager Ron Washington after 70 pitches.

Yeah, the Rangers lost the game 2-0 to the Astros, but Ross was clearly the story, from the visiting teams’ perspective.

Ross had relieved Holland at Triple-A Round Rock on Thursday and threw 42 pitches. The Rangers needed a starter for Saturday when Miles Mikolas was scratched with shoulder fatigue.

Ross became the starter despite the number of pitches he threw, and the objective was for him to throw no more than 60.

When the fifth inning was over Saturday night, Washington gave Ross a hug in the dugout.

“I know he was mad at that,” Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus said of Ross getting relieved by Phil Klein.

It happens.

“He said that he had 100 pitches in him,” Washington said of taking Ross out. “Yeah, he was serious."

Saturday night was another chance for Ross to prove he belongs here. He started the season in the Rangers’ rotation, moved to the bullpen and was demoted to Round Rock on June 17. Ross received another chance Aug. 14 against the Tampa Bay Rays and struggled in his start, in which he allowed six runs, all earned over 4 1/3 innings of work. He left with his team trailing 6-2.

Coming into his evening, Ross’ ERA was 6.06. As a starter, Ross was 1-5 with a 5.40 ERA.

“The big thing for me is I want to start, and I felt like I battled my tail off in Triple-A for it,” Ross said. “I felt like this opportunity right here might not come back around, and I wanted to show I’m ready to go and that I feel like I can do it. I didn’t want to spoil it in the sense of I did what I did when I pitched against Tampa Bay.”

Ross didn't make anybody forget his season to this point, but he did well enough to give the front office hope he's somebody to rely on for next season.

“It was about Robbie Ross and protecting him,” Washington said. “We certainly had some fresh arms down in that bullpen, and I thought Klein threw the ball well. It was just who is going to make the first mistake, and we did.”

Ross pitched a no-hitter through five innings on four hours of sleep, two wasted hours sitting in the hotel lobby and a left arm that will ache Sunday morning.

“I was feeling good, felt strong. I was out there trying to battle for us," Ross said. "Obviously they said, 'Hey, we want you to stay healthy. It's not about just right now -- it's about the future.' So I battled them to try and get back out there and do what I had to do, but that’s the way it goes."

Extra Bases: Robbie Ross Part II

August, 15, 2014
ARLINGTON, Texas -- All Robbie Ross is looking for is another chance.

He pitched so well in spring training, then the season began and he struggled. He was demoted to Triple-A Round Rock, solved his confidence and mechanical issues and was given another opportunity

When Yu Darvish was placed on the 15-day disabled list, it opened the door for Ross to take on the Rays and show the big league club what he could do.

Ross lasted 4 1/3 innings Thursday night, allowing six runs on eight hits with two home runs in a 6-3 loss.

Manager Ron Washington wouldn’t commit to another start for Ross, but given Darvish is out for two starts, he might not have a choice.

“I think I can grow up from this outing and I see what I need to focus on instead of just kinda dwelling on it,” Ross said. “This is definitely one of those ones where it’s disappointing. We need guys to go out and do the best they can right now. I’m trying to battle and make good starts.”

(Read full post)

Rapid Reaction: Rays 6, Rangers 3

August, 14, 2014

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Robbie Ross returned to the big club with confidence and fixed mechanics.

But it was the same results for the Texas Rangers left-hander on Thursday night.

Ross, who started for ace Yu Darvish (elbow) and lasted 4⅓ innings, gave up six runs and eight hits, including two home runs, in a 6-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Ross was demoted to Triple-A Round Rock on June 17 for his struggles. He earned a call-up when Darvish went to the 15-day disabled list. General manager Jon Daniels said Ross' moderate success in Round Rock, which included a three-game win streak and a 3.60 ERA in two August starts, made him a strong candidate for a September call-up.

After a productive first inning when he struck out the side, it fell apart for Ross as he gave up four runs in the next two innings.

The Rays took three of four games from the Rangers and kept their slim AL wild-card hopes alive. The Rangers' hopes? The first pick of next year's draft.

How it happened: A one-out infield hit by Sean Rodriguez got the party started for the Rays in the second inning. Yunel Escobar hit his fifth homer of the season for a 2-0 lead. Ross continued his problems in the third when Evan Longoria drove in a run with a two-out RBI single to left and James Loney brought in another run for a 4-0 lead.

The dagger was Longoria's two-run shot in the fifth, on the first pitch he saw to push the advantage to 6-2. A single and a walk followed, and in came manager Ron Washington to end the night for Ross.

Home is heartbreak: In 19 home series this season, the Rangers are 6-10-3. The last time the Rangers won a series was July 28-30 when they took two of three from the New York Yankees. This was also the final game this season against the AL East. The Rangers are 10-22 against the division and have lost 15 of their last 21 games.

Klein pitches well: Some were wondering just where rookie reliever Phil Klein was the past two nights. The Rangers wanted him to get a little more rest after he was warming up in the bullpen but hadn't entered a game yet. In taking over for Ross, he pitched 2⅔ innings with five strikeouts. In his first two games in the big leagues, Klein gave up home runs to the first batter he faced each time. Nothing bad has occurred in the past three appearances.

Choo keeps striking out: Leadoff hitter Shin-Soo Choo has struck out in 12 consecutive games. His three strikeouts Thursday give him 23 during that span. On the season, Choo has struck out a major-league leading 100 times from the leadoff spot. The Rangers' record for most strikeouts in a single season for a leadoff hitter belongs to Oddibe McDowell (1986) and David Dellucci (2005) at 105.

Holland rehab outing: Left-hander Derek Holand had his fourth rehab outing at Round Rock on Thursday night. He went 3⅔ innings, giving up three runs, one earned, and four hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Holland walked two and threw 72 pitches, the most he has thrown during his rehab from knee surgery.

Up next: The Rangers will play host to the Los Angeles Angels this weekend. Right-hander Nick Martinez (2-8, 5.22) takes on right-hander Garrett Richards (12-4, 2.54) on Friday night.

Rapid Reaction: Rays 10, Rangers 1

August, 13, 2014

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Wednesday night started off badly with the news that Texas Rangers staff ace Yu Darvish was moved to the 15-day disabled list with right-elbow inflammation.

It continued when young right-hander Miles Mikolas took the mound and gave up three home runs in the first two innings against the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Rangers' bumpy season took another bad step as the Rays picked up an easy 10-1 victory at Globe Life Park.

Rays starter Chris Archer struck out a career-high 12 while earning his 15th quality start of the season. It was a masterful performance by Archer -- and that’s not to say the Rangers weren’t trying, because they were. You just have to credit him.

Archer didn’t allow a hit until Leonys Martin’s leadoff double in the fifth, and the right-hander struck out six consecutive batters in the early innings.

It was just too easy and painful to watch.

Things were so bad that Rangers manager Ron Washington took reliever Nate Adcock out after three of the five hitters he faced reached base for Alex Claudio, who was called up when Darvish was placed on the DL, in the eighth inning.

The first two pitches of Claudio's major league career were for strikes. And he eventually struck out Kevin Kiermaier on a bender on the outside part of the plate for his first big league strikeout. When he finished the inning, having allowed no runs, he got a nice ovation from the crowd.

It was the only positive thing on the evening for the home team.

How it happened: Quickly. To make this simple, Matt Joyce homered for a 1-0 lead in the first; in the second, Mikolas gave up two more home runs as the Rays took a commanding 5-0 edge. The Rangers did get a run on Jim Adduci's sacrifice fly that scored Martin in the fifth.

Archer kept the Rangers guessing most of the night and they didn’t offer a serious threat outside of the sixth inning, when a pair of one-out singles from Elvis Andrus and Mike Carp got the crowd alive.

Archer struck out Adrian Beltre and Alex Rios to end the threat.

Leadoff hitter blues: Shin-Soo Choo is the Rangers' leadoff hitter, but doesn’t look like one at the plate. He struck out twice Wednesday and leads the majors with 124 strikeouts from the leadoff position. Miami’s Christian Yelich is second with 99. Choo has struck out in his past 11 games, the longest stretch of the season.

Saving the bullpen: Washington elected to use first baseman J.P. Arencibia in the ninth inning over a reliever in mop-up duty. It was Arencibia’s first appearance as a pitcher and the third time this season the Rangers used a position player on the mound. Arencibia allowed just an infield hit in his one inning of work.

What’s next? Left-hander Robbie Ross (2-4, 5.61 ERA) takes on right-hander Jake Odorizzi (8-9, 3.89) on Thursday night.

A confident Ross replaces Darvish

August, 13, 2014
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Robbie Ross was a lost man while he spent time with the Texas Rangers.

Now he has found himself.

[+] EnlargeRobbie Ross
AP Photo/Tony GutierrezRobbie Ross, set to slide into Yu Darvish's spot, was "ready to get another opportunity," Rangers GM Jon Daniels said.
The left-hander is set to replace staff ace Yu Darvish on Thursday night against Tampa Bay. Darvish went on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with elbow trouble.

Ross is 2-4 with a 5.61 ERA in 18 games for the Rangers this season, with nine starts.

The Rangers moved him from the rotation to the bullpen, but success did not exactly follow. On June 8, he was sent down to Triple-A Round Rock, where he worked on his mechanics and confidence.

“He’s throwing the ball well and both [Round Rock pitching coach Brad Holman and minor league pitching coordinator Danny Clark] felt like he’s made progress and was ready to get another opportunity," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "He would have been up in September if this had not come along.”

At Round Rock, Ross went 4-4 with a 5.10 ERA in nine games, including eight starts. He pitched deep into games, including an Aug. 2 start against Memphis in which he notched a five-hit complete game.

“It’s an opportunity and we’ll put him in there tomorrow and he feels good about himself,” Daniels said. “He’s got his confidence back and made a couple of mechanical changes, but the biggest thing is he’s got his confidence back.”

Minor League report: Telis playing well

August, 10, 2014
Here's our weekly Texas Rangers Minor League Report.


Switch hitting catcher/first baseman Tomas Telis is hitting.337 in the last 23 games for Round Rock. Tellis hit a two-run homer in the Express’ 4-2 loss at Nashville on Friday night. Telis isn’t as highly regarded as Jorge Alfaro, who was promoted to Frisco this past week, however, he does have the potential to become a quality backup or maybe even a starter. In the minors, Telis’ slash line this season is .312/.349/.414 this season.

  • RHP Spencer Patton has a 1.23 ERA with 13 strikeouts and one walk since joining Round Rock.

    *LHP Edwar Cabrera had his longest outing of the season, seven innings in an Aug. 5 no-decision, since he was promoted to Round Rock. He’s 1-1, with a 5.29 ERA in three starts.

  • LHP Robbie Ross went six innings on Friday night in a loss to Nashville. Ross gave up 10 hits, four earned runs including a walk-off two-run homer.


  • Left-handed starter Andrew Faulkner has 20 strikeouts in 16 innings in his last three starts with Frisco. Faulkner suffered his first loss in Double-A on Friday night when he allowed six runs on six hits in just five innings of work. He threw 92 pitches in the outing. It was the most runs Faulkner has allowed in the minors this season. He gave up five runs on June 21 in a no-decision start for Class-A Myrtle Beach.

  • Newly promoted catcher Jorge Alfaro, the second-best prospect in the system, started 3-for-15 with three walks, three strikeouts and a home run for the RoughRiders. Saturday night he went 4-for-5 with a homer and four RBIs in the victory over Tulsa.

  • RHP Jake Thompson struck out eight in the victory and has 22 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings for the RoughRiders.

  • RF Nomar Mazara broke a 0-for-12 spell Saturday night with three hits and driving in three.


  • RHP and No. 1 pick Luis Ortiz (Hickory) pitched three solid innings in his A-ball debut on Wednesday. He struck out two with one walk in his efforts.

  • 2B Seth Spivey (Spokane) leads Northwest League with a .356 batting average and is second in OBP (.446) and third in OPS (.946).

  • LHP Frank Lopes (Hickory) had a season-high 10 strikeouts in a victory over Greensboro on Saturday night. Lopes allowed just two runs over five innings of work.

  • CF Jose Cardona (Spokane) has hit safely in 11 of the last 12 games. He had two hits Saturday.
  • Robbie Ross JrRodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty ImagesRobbie Ross, who's 4-3 with a 4.97 ERA at Round Rock, hopes to return to the majors.
    ROUND ROCK, Texas -- Left handed pitcher Robbie Ross was the 93rd move of the Round Rock Express on June 18.

    The Texas Rangers were done with Ross.

    Ross had an ERA of 5.61 and was 1-4 as a starter. He was moved from the starter’s role to the bullpen and became more of a mess.

    In nine relief appearances, Ross gave up 12 earned runs in 12 innings.

    He was sent to Triple-A to fix some things with his control and mechanics.

    Ross found a resurgence and most likely deserves a call back to the big club soon.

    He’s become one of the recent bright spots of the pitchers that have been moved around in the Rangers organization within the last month or so.

    He’s 4-3 with a 4.97 ERA at Round Rock and in the midst of a three-game win streak. On Aug. 2, he pitched a complete game in a victory over Memphis.

    (Read full post)

    Minor League report: Ross looking good

    August, 3, 2014
    PM CT
    Here's our weekly Rangers Minor League report.

    Triple-A: LHP Robbie Ross might get another call-up to the Rangers in September. In his last three starts at Round Rock, Ross has allowed just five runs in 22 innings with 16 strikeouts. The key for Ross has always been consistency, something he didn’t have with the Rangers. Ross started the season as a starter for the Rangers, going 1-4 before getting moved to the bullpen. His struggles continued in the pen before he was sent to Round Rock in June. Saturday night, in a 5-2 victory over Memphis, Ross earned his second win of the week. He earned his first complete game of his career allowing just two runs on five hits. He struck out five while throwing 102 pitches.

  • C Tomas Tellis has done well since a promotion to Triple-A. He’s 23-of-63 with a .685 OPS in last ten games.
  • RHP Spencer Patton has 11 strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings since the trade.
  • DH Brett Nicholas hit .349 with two home runs and 12 RBIs during a 24-game stretch in July.

    Double-A: There is still potential in RoughRiders RHP starter Phil Irwin, however he’s struggled to go deep into games. After going seven innings in June 24 start against Fresno, Irwin pitched into the sixth inning twice in his last four starts. On Wednesday night, Irwin went 3 1/3 innings, allowing five runs on five hits. He walked five on 77 pitches.

  • RHP Alex Gonzalez, Baseball America’s fifth-ranked prospect in the Rangers organization, will pitch Tuesday vs. Springfield. Opponents are hitting .252 against him in the last 10 games.
  • RHP Alec Asher took the loss to San Antonio in giving up five runs on eight hits in five innings of work. He also allowed two home runs.
  • 1B Trever Adams is among the Texas League leaders in doubles (second with 29), hits (third with 109), slugging percentage (second with .464) and OPS (third at .803).

    Single-A/Rookie: 2B Travis Demeritte, MLB.com’s ninth-best prospect in the organization and ESPN’s Keith Law’s 11th-best overall prospect, ended a strong stretch of games on Saturday night for Hickory. Demeritte went 11-for-25 with four home runs and four walks with 12 RBI before a 0-for-3 on Saturday. Demeritte, who still needs to cut down on the strikeouts, had a 0-for-12 slide before that current burst which ended.

  • CF Lewis Brinson (Myrtle Beach) hit a game-winning grand slam in a 10-6 win over Potomac.
  • SS Josh Morgan was among the leaders in the Arizona Rookie League in plate appearance/strikeout ratio at 14.63.
  • LHP Derek Thompson (Spokane) was 3-0 with one no-decision until struggling on Thursday. He gave up five runs on seven hits in five innings of work in a loss.
  • Gomes homer ruins Tepesch's afternoon

    June, 7, 2014
    PM CT
    ARLINGTON, Texas -- Nick Tepesch saw his ERA go up half a run and his record drop to 2-2 really because of just one pitch Saturday afternoon.

    Yan Gomes, batting ninth in the Cleveland Indians order, drilled a Tepesch sixth-inning offering into the seats with two Indians aboard, turning a 1-1 tie into a 4-1 Texas deficit. Cleveland went on to beat the Rangers 8-3.

    “One bad pitch there got me," Tepesch said. “It was down a little, but pretty much in the middle of the plate."

    It turned out to be his final pitch. Robbie Ross, warming up prior to the home run, was brought in to relieve.

    Former Ranger David Murphy opened the Cleveland sixth inning with a single and, after a popout, Carlos Santana singled to bring Gomes to the plate. Twice before, Gomes had chances with men on base and in each case Tepesch won the battle, getting the only right-handed batter in the Indians’ starting lineup on fly ball to center field to end the second inning and a fielder’s choice grounder to shortstop for the final out in the fourth.

    “I felt pretty good," Tepesch said. “My pitches were definitely better today.’’

    Said Rangers manager Ron Washington: “I thought he did a good job except for the ball they hit out. I’m not even going to call it a bad pitch. He made a pitch in the middle of the plate."

    Ross, the victim of some soft hits, was charged with three runs and Tanner Scheppers allowed his second home run in two appearances since returning from the disabled list.

    The Rangers have allowed multiple home runs in a season-high five consecutive games.

    Young Rangers show ups and downs in win

    June, 5, 2014
    PM CT

    ARLINGTON, Texas -- Ah, the unpredictability of youth. It was on display once again in the Texas Rangers' 8-6 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday.

    There was Leonys Martin in the third inning, seemingly not thinking as the second-year outfielder took a lead off second base and tried to steal third with two outs and Michael Choice batting. The attempt came right after he had stolen second base to get himself into scoring position.

    [+] EnlargeRougned Odor
    AP Photo/Sharon EllmanRougned Odor celebrates his run after taking advantage of a Baltimore error to help Texas take the lead in the seventh inning.
    Martin was thrown out, ending the Rangers' attempt to add to their 5-2 lead at that point. You hear it so often it has become cliché, but coaches preach about not making the final out of the inning at third base.

    "It wasn't smart of him," manager Ron Washington said of his 26-year-old center fielder's decision. "He had just done a great thing stealing second base and there were two outs and Michael Choice had been swinging the bat all night well. So that wasn't a very smart play right there. We talked about it. I'm just trying to get him to understand that he has to think the game a little bit. That's all."

    Martin also struggled in the field, hesitating on Adam Jones' fly ball to center to the point where he had to dive to try to catch it. The ball dropped for a two-run double, and one batter later, a two-out single tied the score. The Rangers had blown a 5-0. But Martin also had a single to lead off the second and scored one of the runs in that inning for his team. Again, that's youth.

    Choice was up one inning after hitting a long home run into the Rangers' bullpen to give Texas a 4-0 lead. Choice, a 24-year-old outfielder in his first full big league season, was hitting only .202 coming into the game. And he fell behind 0-2 in his first at-bat. What pleased him most was that he hit the home run after he battled to get the count to 3-2, where he was able to turn a slider up in the zone, a pitch he was expecting.

    The home run came one night after Choice struck out to end Wednesday's one-run loss to Baltimore. Such is life as a rookie. One day you can't seem to find a hit and the next, you hit a home run and a double to help your team win.

    "It's an experience," Washington said of managing young players. "It's an experience for them and I've been around young players a lot and you've got to have patience. I try to have patience with them."

    On Thursday, the middle infield of Rougned Odor (20 years old) and Luis Sardinas (21) made up for a rough outing the night before. Odor's legs helped create the go-ahead run in a three-run seventh inning. J.J. Hardy, a solid defensive shortstop throughout his career, made three errors during the game, including two in that seventh inning. Odor's speed helped cause them. He hit a ground ball to the hole at short and Hardy knew he had to hurry and the throw was wide. That allowed Odor to go to second. He went to third on Shin-Soo Choo's ground ball and scored when Hardy bobbled a ground ball from Elvis Andrus. Odor didn't hesitate and beat Hardy's throw home.

    Robbie Ross, still only 24 years old, came in and threw two scoreless innings in a tie game. Ross struggled as a starter and was moved back to the bullpen. Perhaps Thursday's outing will give him some confidence.

    It seems that inning to inning and game to game, the Rangers aren't quite sure what they're going to get from a group of young players. The manager knows he has to stick with them.

    "You're always going to be teaching and you're always going to be trying to fix something and trying to teach something," Washington said. "But when you have kids that are talented, it's easy. They're going to make some mistakes, but I've never see them give up. I never see them drop their head. I always see them continue to push forward and in the end it's going to pay dividends. That's what it's about."

    Rapid Reaction: Rangers 8, Orioles 6

    June, 5, 2014
    PM CT

    ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers won the final game of the three-game series with the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday. A few thoughts:

    How it happened: Texas blew a 5-0 lead, but scored three runs in the seventh inning -- thanks in large part to Orioles mistakes -- and held on for the 8-6 victory.

    What it means: The Rangers avoid a sweep and also get back to .500 for the season at 30-30. The Oakland Athletics lost to the New York Yankees, so the Rangers are now seven games back. They also are 14-15 at home.

    Quick start: The first four batters for the Rangers reached base on Thursday and two of them scored on Mitch Moreland's single to left field. Texas had a chance to make it an even bigger inning but couldn't do it after Alex Rios struck out and Chris Gimenez hit into a double play. Still, Colby Lewis was handed an early lead.

    Other way: Moreland, hitting just .182 in his last eight games prior to Thursday, didn't try to do too much on a 2-2 pitch. He shortened his swing and hit it to the left side of the infield, beating the shift (the ball bounded past where the shortstop normally would have been) for the two-run single.

    Choice cut: Michael Choice blasted a two-run homer in the second inning, hitting it into the Rangers’ bullpen. It was Choice's fourth homer of the season and 20th and 21st RBIs. He has reached base in seven of his last nine games in the midst of some overall struggles. He was batting just .202 coming into the game.

    Poor play: Leonys Martin made a bad decision in the third inning, attempting to steal third base with two outs. Martin had just stolen second base with Choice at the plate. But he then tried to steal third and was thrown out easily to end the inning. You hear coaches and managers talk about it all the time: Don't get thrown out at third to end an inning. Martin did, eliminating a chance for Choice to drive him in.

    Lewis lets lead slip: Given a 5-0 lead, Colby Lewis wasn't able to hold it. He gave up two runs in the third and three in the fifth to allow the Orioles to tie the score. Adam Jones had two RBIs on a double to center with two outs in the inning. Martin took an odd route to the ball, tried to dive and then couldn't come up with it. Chris Davis, the former Rangers first baseman, singled home Jones to tie the score. Lewis finished giving up five earned runs on seven hits in five innings.

    Orioles mistakes help Rangers: Baltimore's J.J. Hardy had a rough night, committing a career-high three errors. He had two costly ones in the seventh. Rougned Odor got a hit, then went to second on Hardy's wide throw. He advanced to third on Shin-Soo Choo's grounder and scored when Hardy couldn't handle the bouncer to short off the bat of Elvis Andrus. Odor scored the go-ahead run. The Rangers added from there as Adrian Beltre, Rios and Gimenez hit three straight singles to score two more runs.

    Scheppers back in eighth: So much for easing Tanner Scheppers into the bullpen. With the Rangers up 8-5, Scheppers came in to handle the eighth inning, a role he had last season. The 27-year-old, fresh off the disabled list, gave up a leadoff home run to Jones but ended up getting a double play to end the frame with Rangers lead 8-6.

    Briefly: Robbie Ross pitched two scoreless innings in a tie game. It was his third straight inning of scoreless relief. … Everybody in the starting lineup but Choo had a hit. … Former Rangers OF Nelson Cruz struck out three times against Lewis. … Officially, there were 770 dogs in attendance on Bark at the Park night.

    Up next: Yu Darvish takes a 5-2 mark and a 2.08 ERA to the mound Friday against the Cleveland Indians and right-hander Trevor Bauer (1-2, 3.63 ERA) at 7:05 p.m. CT on TXA21 and ESPN 103.3 FM.

    Extra Bases: Not-so-sweet home

    June, 5, 2014
    AM CT
    ARLINGTON, Texas -- For years, the Texas Rangers have enjoyed a sizable home-field advantage. But in 2014, things have changed considerably. After starting the season 9-3 in Arlington, the Rangers are 4-12 in their past 16 games at home and just 13-15 in Arlington overall.

    Wednesday's loss means the club is 0-4-2 in its past six home series.

    No one seems to have an explanation. The numbers tell a story of the offense's inability to score runs. When has that been said about a Texas team at home? The Rangers have scored 27 runs in their past nine home games and went 2-7 in that span. For the entire season, the Rangers are 11th in the AL in runs and 13th in batting average at home.

    [+] EnlargeTanner Scheppers
    AP Photo/Kim Johnson FlodinTanner Scheppers' return to health comes at a perfect time.
    The only team in the AL West with a worse home record is Houston.

    The offensive woes don't mean the pitching staff goes without blame, however. The staff ERA of 4.34 is 11th in the AL.

    If this team is to claw back in the race and hang around in the wild-card hunt, they've got to start playing better at home.

    Bullpen dominoes: Things are getting ready to get interesting in the Rangers' bullpen. It's a unit that is fifth in the AL in innings pitched, thanks to the starters' inability to consistently go deep into games.

    Tanner Scheppers, who needed just six pitches in a successful rehab start Tuesday, appears just about ready to return to a relief job with the big league club. They certainly need him. With Alexi Ogando on the disabled list and some inconsistencies all over the pen, a healthy and hard-throwing Scheppers would give manager Ron Washington another late-inning piece.

    Ogando's right elbow inflammation actually gives the club an opportunity. They recalled Aaron Poreda, a left-handed pitcher, and put him in the bullpen, which means they could send Robbie Ross, who has options, down when Scheppers returns. And, with Poreda there, they wouldn't have to worry about being down a lefty.

    Ross is 1-4 with a 4.94 ERA this season. He was moved from the starting rotation to the bullpen a few weeks ago and has pitched four times in relief, giving up four runs in 6 2/3 innings. Opponents have hit .433 against him. Why not option him to Triple-A Round Rock so he can find some confidence?

    Neftali Feliz keeps making a push toward returning at some point soon too. Feliz is getting his velocity back (a scout told me he was 92-93 mph on Tuesday but has touched 96 a few times in his past few outings) and pitching well in Round Rock now. He's another option that could improve the Rangers' bullpen.

    Stay tuned.

    Meeting time: The Rangers' hitters had a brief meeting on Wednesday. They typically only meet prior to new series, which they did Tuesday, but they quickly gathered as a group prior to stretching Wednesday. Maybe that's because they were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position on Tuesday and 10-for-59 with runners in scoring position in the past seven games, prior to Wednesday.

    Stock Report: Leonys Martin, Alex Rios up

    May, 30, 2014
    AM CT
    It's Friday and that means it's time for our weekly look at who's trending up and who's trending down for the Texas Rangers:


    Leonys Martin: The center fielder's speed is creating scoring opportunities and producing runs. The latest evidence: He had two doubles and three runs scored, including the eventual game winner, in Thursday's 5-4 victory over Minnesota. Martin scored the only run in Wednesday's 1-0 win. He is 9-for-31 (.290) through the first eight games of this 11-game road trip.

    Alex Rios: No one has appeared in this category more than Rios, who is this club's most consistent offensive performer so far. The right fielder has a club-high 12-game hitting streak and is batting .403 (21-for-52) during the surge, with seven extra-base hits.

    Hits with RISP: The Rangers are hitting .397 in the past six games with runners in scoring position. That is a big reason they've had such a good road trip (6-2) so far.


    Robbie Ross: The left-hander didn't pitch at all in the four games in Minnesota and has struggled to find his rhythm.

    Stiff neck: Yu Darvish's neck makes this list because it's something that has bothered him before this season. He missed time in spring training and started the season on the disabled with neck issues. This time, it meant skipping a start. He's scheduled to be on the mound Sunday in Washington.

    Face mask: Injuries, again, have affected the team. Daniel Robertson ran into Rios in Detroit and couldn't play until the past few days because he was waiting to get a mask in Minnesota. The Memorial Day weekend meant the stores that make these masks were closed. He was in the field Thursday.



    Adrian Beltre
    .324 19 77 79
    HRA. Beltre 19
    RBIA. Beltre 77
    RA. Beltre 79
    OPSA. Beltre .879
    WC. Lewis 10
    ERAC. Lewis 5.18
    SOY. Darvish 182