Tyson Ross showed off his arm for Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, striking out 12 in six dominant innings and leading the San Diego Padres to a 3-2 victory over the Texas Rangers on Saturday.
Wilson spent the day in the Rangers’ camp. He homered during batting practice and took out the lineup card before the start of the game. A former minor league infielder for Colorado, Wilson was later acquired by the Rangers and practiced with them last year.
Ross’ 12 strikeouts matched a spring training high for the past five years. Tampa Bay right-hander Alex Cobb struck out 12 Baltimore Orioles on March 22, 2014.
”Wil (Nieves) did a good job on calling some good sequences,” Ross said. ”He had hitters looking for something else and I was able to execute some fastballs and kind of lock them up. I had a good feel for my sinker today and was able to get some strikeouts with that, running it back away from righties and not just using my slider.”
Ross, who threw 62 strikes in 94 pitches, struck out Adrian Beltre, Shin-Soo Choo, Ryan Rua and Carlos Peguero each twice. Ross, a 28-year-old right-hander, yielded two runs on six hits, while walking one.
He has a 2.89 ERA in five starts this spring.
”Does it surprise me? No,” Padres manager Bud Black said. ”Over time, he’s just really establishing himself now as a guy who in this league that can be very dominating. Like any pitcher when they’re on, they’ll get the called third strike because that means they’re dotting the corner, you’re throwing the balls to the glove, the glove is on the corner at a good spot and it’s tough to hit.”
The Padres scored all their runs in the seventh off Rangers right-hander Tanner Scheppers, who hit two batters and walked one to start the inning. Clint Barmes stroked a two-run single. Jedd Gyorko scored the go-ahead run when pinch hitter Tommy Medica grounded into a double play.
Prince Fielder had an RBI single for Texas in the first and Thomas Field scored on wild pitch by Ross in the fifth.
Padres: Ross rarely used his changeup. ”I threw about three,” Ross said. ”It’s kind of hard when the other pitches are working well. It’s going to be a pitch I’m going to need to use the third time through the lineup, kind of get a little separation off the fastball, slider speed. I’m going to keep working it in.”
Rangers: Right-hander Jon Edwards struck out four in two hitless innings. ”After the first hitter (walking Wil Myers), I thought Jon settled down and threw the ball well,” manager Jeff Banister said. ”I don’t think we see Jon in a long role per se. Let’s let him get through spring training first before we decide one, two or more or not.”
Rangers: RHP Ross Ohlendorf was sent to minor league camp to rehab a recurring groin issue. … RHP Shawn Tolleson, who had been out with forearm soreness, threw a 19-pitch bullpen Friday after being examined by team physician Dr. Keith Meister. Banister said it would be a ”challenge” for Tolleson to be ready when the season starts.
RANGERS ROSTER MOVES
The Rangers obtained LHP Sam Freeman from St. Louis for cash or a player to be named. Freeman is 3-2 with a 3.33 ERA in 81 career appearances in the majors.
In other moves, OF Nate Schierholtz and RHP Juan Carlos Oviedo opted to be released instead of being sent to the minors. RHP Anthony Ranaudo was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock.
The Padres assigned C Cody Decker, OF-1B Jake Goebbert and IF Brett Wallace to minor league camp. Goebbert hit .218 in 51 games last season with San Diego.
Padres: RHP Andrew Cashner will make his fifth start Sunday against Seattle.
Rangers: RHP Nick Tepesch, who is in contention for a rotation slot, starts Sunday against the Dodgers.