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.
Ross (0-1) allowed two runs on one hit and a walk during two-thirds of an inning against Baltimore on Thursday. Ross failed to record a strikeout for the first in his last 12 outings, and he couldn't locate his pitches properly. The 26-year-old lefty has had a solid season, but his last appearance increased his ERA to 3.15 in 20 innings.
Ross threw a scorless inning, allowing one hit while striking out two against Cleveland on May 20. Ross has now recorded at least one strikeout in his last nine outings which amounts to 18 over 11.1 innings. He's striking out batters at a career-high clip this season as his K/9 is nearly three strikeouts higher than any of his previous campaigns. While it's unlikely he's going to assume closing duties in Boston anytime soon due to the presence of Craig Kimbrel, the 26-year-old has cemented his role as a reliable reliever in Boston's bullpen.