Robbie Ross, on the mound for the Rangers against the Phillies on April 2, 2014.
Robbie Ross wasn't fantastic in his starting debut on Wednesday night, but he was light years better than his reliever-turned-starter compadre, Tanner Scheppers, was on Monday.
Ross did what Scheppers couldn't, which is keep his team in the game and give it a chance to win, and eventually — better late than never — the bats came to life and got the Rangers their second straight walkoff victory.
The lefty, who came up in the Rangers system as a starter, unlike Scheppers, before making the 2012 Opening Day roster as a reliever, made his big-league starting debut on Wednesday and turned in a fairly solid performance. He walked just two, struck out a career-high seven, and threw 96 pitches to get through five innings — hardly a shining example of efficiency. But he kept the game within reach, allowing three runs, two of which came on a mighty swing of the bat from Ryan Howard.
Ross also showed he could pitch under pressure, as he allowed at least two runners on base in all five of his innings and came away with only the three runs allowed, showing the ability to get swings and misses, which isn't something you expected much of from Ross.
Overall, it was a solid outing for Ross, who is still probably more of a help to the Rnagers in the bullpen assuming a healthy rotation, but if one start is the judge, he's vaulted ahead of Scheppers on the stay-in-the-rotation list.