Buzz: Ross struggles to regain form

August, 19, 2013
8/19/13
7:42
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rangers reliever Robbie Ross keeps working to get back to where to he was before the All-Star break.

It's been a difficult journey.

Ross allowed another inherited runner to score on Sunday, the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth that allowed the Seattle Mariners to top the Rangers 4-3.

[+] EnlargeRobbie Ross
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez

Robbie Ross has allowed seven of his past 14 inherited runners to score, and the Rangers could send the reliever to Triple-A Round Rock to rebound.

Ross has allowed seven of his past 14 inherited runners to score. Lefties have seven hits in their past 12 at-bats against him, and, going further back, they are 14 for their past 29 with three home runs.

On Sunday, it was Dustin Ackley, who has five RBIs in 73 at-bats against lefties, who had an RBI single against Ross, with two outs in the top of the eighth.

"It's frustrating. Those are the guys I have to get out," Ross said. "I'm not getting them out consistently. That's the way it goes sometimes. I have to battle through it."

The Rangers have to make a roster move to recall Tuesday starter Travis Blackley, and, while that is likely going to be Alexi Ogando -- who has right shoulder inflammation -- they could send Ross to Triple-A Round Rock to get things sorted out.

Ross tried to go with a slider against Ackley to catch him leaning, and it got too much of the plate.

"What’s happened is he probably doesn’t have as much downwards movement on his slider," Rangers CEO and Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan said on "Galloway and Company" on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM on Monday. "Right now, that’s what appears to me from where I sit. I just think the league knows Robbie, know because of him being in the league last year."

Ross said Sunday it has nothing to do with fatigue -- he has pitched in only 13 games since the start of July after a heavy workload the first three months of the season. "I feel better than last season times 10," Ross said.

It comes down to just making his pitches.

"The stuff is there. The issue is he's not executing his pitches," manager Ron Washington said. "His velocity is there, but when he wants to go inside, he's not getting in there. When he wants to go outside, he's not getting it there. He's leaving it over the plate, and they're not missing it."

Baker on A-Rod beaning: Count Jeff Baker among those who didn't approve of Boston's Ryan Dempster drilling the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez on Sunday night.

That's if Baker's former teammate, Dempster -- who pitched for the Rangers last season -- was throwing at Rodriguez on purpose because of the way he handled the 211-game suspension for performance-enhancing drug violations. Rodriguez, another former Ranger, is appealing his suspension.

"I'm not a fan of it," said Baker, who was a teammate of Dempster's with the Cubs. "I respect the heck out of Dempster. He's one of my favorite teammates I've played with. But I'm not on board with it.

"It's not on the players, whether you like Alex or don't like Alex. There's a process to enforce that."

Berkman anticipating Sept. 1: Designated hitter Lance Berkman said Monday he doesn't expect to be activated until Sept. 1.

And while sitting around is frustrating, Berkman, who is recovering from a hip issue and deals with chronic knee problems, said he's willing to wait until then to be activated.

"In a perfect world, Sept. 1 would be tomorrow," Berkman said. "But it's not. The situation is a difficult one for the organization. The roster, the way it is configured, doesn't lend itself to a change, because it would leave us short in other areas. The best thing for us is to wait until Sept. 1, unless somebody gets hurt."

Berkman did take batting practice on Monday. He plans on going on the Rangers' upcoming road trip to Chicago and Seattle.

He can't answer how effective he'll be when he returns. He was 4-for-11 with a home run on a rehab assignment that ended on Wednesday.

"We'll see," Berkman said. "Until you go out there and do it, it's hard to say. If I can help, I'm going to."

Tepesch throws bullpen: Right-hander Nick Tepesch threw 40 pitches in his second bullpen session on Monday. That puts him in line to throw 60 pitches next time in a bullpen on a date to be determined.

Tepesch is coming back from right elbow inflammation.

Short hops: The Rangers have made 54 outs on the bases this season, the most in the majors, according to baseball-reference.com &$133; The Rangers had four minor league players win their league's player or pitcher of the week award for last week: infielder Drew Robinson and RHP Alec Asher of Class A Myrtle Beach in the Carolina League; outfielder Nick Williams of Class A Hickory in the South Atlantic League; and RHP Richard Alvarez for Spokane in the Northwest League … Williams batted .400 with four doubles, two home runs and three RBIs.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Adrian Beltre
BA HR RBI R
.324 19 77 79
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Beltre 19
RBIA. Beltre 77
RA. Beltre 79
OPSA. Beltre .879
WC. Lewis 10
ERAC. Lewis 5.18
SOY. Darvish 182