Righty cruises in Rangers debut, holding M's to 2 runs
By Sam Butler
ARLINGTON -- Tyson Ross is normally a pretty laid-back guy. But Friday night in a 10-4 victory over the Mariners, while he was walking off the field after being lifted for reliever Dario Alvarez in the sixth inning, the Rangers starting pitcher was beaming so brightly you could see his smile from anywhere in Globe Life Park.
Ross made his first start in 15 months, going 5 2/3 innings and allowing two runs on two hits while striking out five. He earned his first win since Aug. 31, 2015, and it made for a picture-perfect debut for the man who finally made it back to the Major Leagues after working back from shoulder problems that hadn't let him pitch in a big league game since Opening Day 2016.
He pitched in four rehab games with Triple-A Round Rock, but making starts in the Minors paled in comparison to taking the mound in a big league park.
"I was just excited. I'm pretty stoic in my demeanor, but inside I was real excited to be out there, crossing over those white lines and being handed the ball," Ross said. "It's been a long time coming, and I'm just happy I was able to do a good job for the team and put us in a position to win."
He struggled a bit in the first inning, walking leadoff hitter Ben Gamel, throwing a wild pitch and allowing Gamel to score on a groundout. The first-inning jitters, Ross admitted, got to him a bit.
"I always have a little bit of extra adrenaline going in the first inning, but after that much time off, there's some pent-up adrenaline," Ross said. "So I just needed to make an adjustment and get back to just making pitches one at a time, and everything kind of worked itself out."
Ross settled down, and he left after holding the Mariners in check for the rest of his outing. And when Rangers manager Jeff Banister made the move to pull Ross, Banister could see what this game meant to him.
"Every inning coming off the field you could tell there was emotion. There was passion, drive, excitement. You could also see it in everyone around him," Banister said. "Our guys know what it takes to get back on the field when you have been injured, the length of time he has been away. When I went out to take him out, you could see all our guys congregate, congratulating him, essentially welcoming him back into a Major League scenario, smile on his face."
Sam Butler is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.