Rangers' Ross makes it look easy in return as a reliever
MAY 21, 2014 6:19p ET
ARLINGTON, Texas - Rangers lefty Robbie Ross looked right at home Wednesday entering a pressure-packed situation as a reliever.
After a nine-start tryout as a starter, Ross made his first relief appearance of the season when he entered in the seventh to protect a one-run lead for starter Nick Tepesch.
"It was one of those feelings I haven't had in a while, since I was starting," Ross said. "Coming in for just that type of situation, it was like, âAll right, here we go.'"
With one out and two runners on, Ross took just two pitches to induce a double-play grounder to end the threat. The Rangers went on to a 4-3 win over Seattle.
"We know Robbie can come in and get outs out of the bullpen," manager Ron Washington said. "He did a great job. He came in and got us out of that inning. That's what we've got him down there for."
Ross spent had success as a reliever the last two seasons but was 1-4 as a starter in this season. His first relief outing of 2014 helped Tepesch earn his first win as a starter.
After Tepesch got the first out in the seventh, Washington made a trip to the mound with Ross ready to go in the bullpen. Tepesch convinced Washington he had enough left to finish the inning, then promptly walked the next two batters.
"The look in his eyes, he convinced me," Washington said. "And I had to end up getting Robbie to bail me out."
Ross, too, was getting a look in his eyes â the look a reliever gets when he enters with the game on the line.
"You remember the stuff you did last year and get ready to do it, but at the same time you get amped up all over again," Ross said. "I was pretty amped, and especially going into a situation like that. I was really trying to just go out there and help Tep out and help us win."
This time, not only could Ross rely on his experience as a reliever, he could empathize with the starter he was replacing.
"I know how it feels sometimes when you're on the mound battling like he was and having a game like he was," Ross said. "When you're starting, it's like, âMan, I'd love to get out of this inning without those runs scoring for me.'"
Ross earned a spot in the rotation with a solid spring. However, after his only win on April 15, Ross had gone 0-4 with a 6.97 ERA. Even with the starting rotation depleted by injuries, the Rangers decided to make Ross a reliever again.
Ross had nine starts to prove he could be an effective starter. In just one appearance as a reliever, he proved he can still be a valuable part of the bullpen
"It just didn't work with the way things fell into place, with our rotation in shambles," Washington said. "But we know that he can help us down there. I think it's important that we at least shore up the areas that we're capable of shoring up."
Follow Keith Whitmire on Twitter: @Keith_Whitmire