ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Tyson Ross wasn’t going to rush his return to a major league mound and it paid off as the Texas Rangers defeated the Seattle Mariners 10-4 on Friday night.
Throughout his rehab process after surgery to correct Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, the right-handed pitcher had adopted a simple approach. He would take it day-by-day, evaluate each rehab start and would never push to get back too early.
“This was the perfect time right now,” Ross said. “Everything leading up to today was a reason for everything I did. The struggles, successes all that, I’m looking to build on them even more.”
The patient process worked as Ross allowed just a pair of runs in his first start in 14 months and Carlos Gomez homered to help the Rangers improve back to .500.
Ross (1-0) made his Rangers debut and started for the first time since opening day last year when he pitched for the Padres. It was his first win since Aug. 31, 2015 and he struck out five in 5 2/3 innings.
“Just every inning coming off the field you could tell there was emotion, passion, drive, excitement,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “You could also see it in everybody around him.”
Gomez had four RBIs after being sidelined four weeks with a strained right hamstring.
Ross walked the first batter he faced and allowed a run on an RBI groundout in the first, but settled down and didn’t allow a hit until Mike Zunino’s bloop single in the fifth.
Seattle starter James Paxton (5-2) allowed seven hits and seven runs in 3 2/3 innings. He ran into trouble in the third and threw 40 pitches as Texas scored five runs in the inning.
“We’ve got to get (Paxton) in a good spot, going in the right direction again,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “The last couple he just hasn’t looked comfortable out there. Everything looks like a struggle.”
Elvis Andrus had an RBI double in the inning and then scored along with Shin-Soo Choo on a two-run single by Adrian Beltre. Beltre and Rougned Odor then scored on a single by Jonathan Lucroy as Texas took a 5-1 lead.
“Once the guys started swinging, I was just happy to be out there with the lead and continue to get outs and progress through the game,” Ross said.
Robinson Chirinos homered and Gomez had an RBI double in the fourth to push the lead to 7-1. Gomez later homered to center on the first pitch he saw in the sixth inning, scoring Choo and Beltre.
“When we put those guys back in the lineup – Gomez, Beltre, (Mike) Napoli – the experience of these guys, there’s no room to maneuver around,” Banister said. “When we came out of spring training that’s what we envisioned.”
Ben Gamel scored in the first, sixth, and eighth innings for Seattle and Jarrod Dyson homered against Rangers reliever Jose Leclerc in the seventh.
RANGERS SIGN PICKS
Texas signed its first three selections from the 2017 Draft and held an introductory press conference for OF Bubba Thompson, SS Chris Seise, and RHP Hans Crouse.
Thompson was selected with the 26th pick of the first round and agreed to a $2.1 million signing bonus. Seise, the 29th pick, agreed to a $2 million bonus, and Crouse, the 66th overall pick, agreed to sign for $1.45 million.
Mariners: RHP Felix Hernandez (strained oblique) is scheduled to make a rehab start with Triple-A Tacoma and throw 80 to 85 pitches. RHP Hishashi Iwakuma (shoulder inflammation) is scheduled to make potentially his final rehab start Monday. RHP Zac Curtis was recalled from Double-A Arkansas Friday.
Rangers: Reliever Tony Barnette was put on the 10-day DL with a sprained finger. RHP Dillon Gee was designated for assignment to make room for Ross on the 40-man roster. LHP Cole Hamels (oblique strain) made his first rehab start with Double-A Frisco allowing one hit and striking out three in three innings.
Mariners: RHP Yovani Gallardo is making his 14th starts after picking up his third win in a 14-3 victory against Minnesota on June 12.
Rangers: LHP Martin Perez will be making his 14th start on five days extended rest and is looking for his first career win against Seattle.