GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Robbie Ross may not make the rotation, but he is in the lead as far as longest outing by a Rangers pitcher this spring. Ross went 5 2/3 innings Thursday afternoon against the Reds, allowing two runs on five hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out three.
He gave up an unearned run in the first and a solo home run to Brandon Phillips in the sixth. Otherwise it was his second straight strong start in enhancing his chances of making the rotation. Ross is getting left-handers out, is keeping the ball down and is getting ahead of hitters. He is also developing his changeup as a third pitch. In short, he has done everything the Rangers have wanted him to do in Arizona.
"I feel like I have put my best foot forward out there and shown them what I can do," Ross said. "It's up to them. I've done the best I can. Whatever happens, happens. I want to be in the big leagues, but I would love to be a starter. I love that feeling."
Ross will get one more outing in Arizona on Tuesday. Tanner Scheppers starts Friday against the Brewers, Tommy Hanson goes Saturday against the Royals and Joe Saunders pitches Sunday against the Padres. The Rangers haven't made a decision on the final two or three spots in the rotation.
"Keep pitching," manager Ron Washington said. "Ross has been throwing the ball extremely well. We're going to make a decision, but we haven't made it yet."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.