Ross allowed one hit and struck out one while pitching two-thirds of an inning to earn the win in Sunday's 11-8 victory over the Blue Jays. Ross, who was one of many Boston relievers to shut down the Blue Jays over the final five innings, came on in the fifth with a runner on and retired the next two batters to get out of the inning. The left-hander continues to be a trusted member of the pen, having limited opponents to a 1.42 ERA and .184 batting average in the last 23 appearances. He'll get high-leverage work wherever it pops up in a game, including the eighth inning if need be.
Ross will be the first choice for a left-hander in the late innings, replacing Fernando Abad, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports. There's no surprise here. Abad has been awful since joining the Red Sox. Ross had been pitching middle relief and facing multiple batters, situations in which he had more opportunity to pile up strikeouts, but now will move to a more specialized role, facing fewer batters. On the flip side, it also means if a lefty is needed to close out a game in a save situation, it would be Ross.
Ross was the pitcher of record in Tuesday night's 9-8 loss to the Tigers. He allowed one run on two hits and two walks while striking out one in a two-inning, 40-pitch relief outing. Ross initially performed well when called on in the fifth inning to replace struggling starter Steven Wright, but began to weaken as his pitch count rose, and Boston manager John Farrell tried to squeeze out one more batter. After retiring the first two batters in the seventh, Ross loaded the bases on a hit batsman, a single and a walk, and then walked in the winning run.
Ross may see situational save chances against left-handed hitters in the absence of Craig Kimbrel and Koji Uehara, Mike Silverman of the Boston Herald reports. Along with Tom Layne, Red Sox manager John Farrell expects to use Ross is spots when primary closer Brad Ziegler is needed earlier in the game (or if he's otherwise unavailable on a particular day). In the best-case scenario, Ross may only see a handful of opportunities working as part of Boston's new ninth-inning arrangement.
Ross has put together four consecutive scoreless outings, striking out five with one walk and three hits over five innings. Ross has been mostly good for Boston out of the pen with the one glaring blemish being when he allowed six runs during a 21-2 loss to the Angels two weeks ago.