T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. Todd Wills is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
ARLINGTON -- Rangers rookie reliever Robbie Ross suited up on national television for the first time on Sunday night. A few hours later, Ross also pitched in his first Major League game. Ross' first appearance came before the game, during his walk to the bullpen. Veteran relievers Joe Nathan and Mark Lowe made him wear a vest with a sheriff's badge and a cowboy hat, along with a toy gun and horsey. The long walk was captured on television and Ross heard about it from everybody. "Oh gosh, every one of my friends texted me," Ross said. "The first time I'm on national television and it was me in a cowgirl uniform. But it was fun, I enjoyed it."
Ross entered the game in the eighth. He walked Gordon Beckham to start the inning but then retired three straight hitters. Adam Dunn popped out, Paul Konerko struck out and Alex Rios grounded out. "The walk ... I guess it was the nerves," Ross said. "Then I figured out what I needed to do here. I had to bear down and face some unbelievable hitters. I needed to focus. It was unreal, a dream come true. It was unbelievable, but it was everything I expected it to be." The Rangers gave Ross the baseball he used to strike out Konerko. "The guy had a really solid debut last night," manager Ron Washington said. "Butterflies should be gone. We're looking forward to seeing a lot of stuff we saw in Spring Training. A lot of anxiety there. First time out there. Once he got back in the strike zone, it was on after that. You could tell he was trying to control his emotions."