|5:05 PM PT6:05 PM MT7:05 PM CT8:05 PM ET20:05 ET0:05 GMT8:05 5:05 PM MST7:05 PM EST7:35 PM VEN4:05 UAE (+1)7:05 PM CT, June 16, 2017
Globe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, Texas Attendance: 33,960
Ross to make first start in a year for Rangers vs. Mariners
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More than 14 months ago, Tyson Ross walked off the mound after getting rocked by the Los Angeles Dodgers in a game for the San Diego Padres.
He did not return to the mound because of injuries and ultimately underwent thoracic outlet surgery.
On Friday, Ross makes his return to the major leagues after a lengthy recovery when the Texas Rangers host the Seattle Mariners in the opener of a three-game series.
Ross will make his first start since April 4, 2016, when he allowed eight runs and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings. He hardly looked like the pitcher who won 23 games, posted a 3.03 ERA, 407 strikeouts and a 60.3 percent ground-ball rate in 2014 and 2015 with the Padres.
"I'm not worried about that part of it," Ross told reporters. "I knew when I was diagnosed last year that I was going to be down a while and knew it would be a long way back. Now I'm here and I'm healthy and I'm just looking forward to helping the rotation."
The Padres non-tendered Ross after the 2016 season and the 30-year-old signed a one-year deal with Texas. Ross might have made his debut for the Rangers sooner, but he injured his back and needed four rehab starts before being deemed ready to intrigue the Rangers in game setting.
"I was excited during the offseason at the prospect of signing Tyson," Texas manager Jeff Banister said. "Electric arm, electric stuff. Big, physical guy. He can dominate a lineup, so we look forward to getting him out there. He's another one of those guys, when things are right, he can be an ace-type pitcher."
"Tyson at his peak does two things at a level not many others can do: generate ground balls and the swing and miss," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels told the Dallas Morning News. "He's fully healthy now, but probably still in the process of building arm strength. Like some guys after a longer layoff, I expect he'll compete well now but also improve as we get deeper into the summer."
Ross will be the 10th pitcher to start for the Rangers. His start will coincide with Cole Hamels' first rehab start. He is 0-2 with a 5.27 ERA in four appearances (two starts) against Seattle.
James Paxton will oppose Ross in his fourth start since returning from a strained left forearm. Paxton is 5-1 with a 2.25 ERA in nine starts this season.
The left-hander leads Seattle starting pitchers in ERA and has 58 strikeouts in 52 innings. He also is one win from matching his career-high, set in 20 starts last season and in 13 starts during the 2014 season.
Paxton will be looking to rebound from his first loss of the season. In a 4-0 defeat by the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday, he allowed four runs and eight hits in a season-low four innings.
"I just didn't feel great," Paxton said. "I had a hard time finding my timing, my rhythm. Just didn't have it."
Among the pitches Paxton didn't have was a 95 mph fastball to Josh Donaldson in the first inning. The pitch ended up in the right-field seats, putting Paxton behind from the outset.
Paxton has done well against the Rangers at times, including April 15 in Seattle when he struck out eight in eight innings of a 5-0 win. He is 2-2 with a 3.53 ERA in eight starts against Texas.
Both pitchers will attempt to help their teams inch toward .500.
The Mariners (33-35) have reached the vicinity of the break-even point by winning 12 of their last 18 games. They settled for a split of a four-game series at Minnesota after taking a 6-2 loss on Thursday afternoon.
While the Mariners scored 29 runs in the series, Thursday was the 28th time they were held to three runs or less as they struggled against Jose Berrios.
"We had chances to kind of get close but could never mount the big rally against him," Seattle manager Scott Servais said.
Texas (32-33) will attempt to reach .500 for the second time in three games. The Rangers made it to .500 on Tuesday with a 4-2 win at Houston but followed it up with a 13-2 loss on Wednesday.
Despite the lopsided loss, the Rangers went 5-1 on the trip against two divisional leaders after losing 11 of their previous 14 games.
"Look, it was a 5-1 road trip that didn't quite end the way we wanted it to, but I think we still got some good momentum going home," Banister said.
Updated June 16, 2017