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|Texas (15-4) «||0||1||3||1||0||2||0||0||x||7||11||0|
There's nothing kid-like about the way the 22-year-old left-hander is pitching.
Ross worked 2 2/3 perfect innings in relief for his AL-best fourth victory and the Rangers beat the New York Yankees 7-3 on Wednesday night, winning their sixth consecutive series to start a season for the first time in franchise history.
"He's doing the job, he has no fear, he throws the ball over the plate," manager Ron Washington said.
As for the two-time defending American League champion Rangers (15-4) having the best record in the majors, Washington said, "We're just playing complete baseball."
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After Scott Feldman gave up two runs in 3 1/3 innings of a spot start, Ross retired all eight batters he faced with two strikeouts.
The Rangers said Ross (4-0) is the first pitcher in the majors since at least 1918 to earn four relief wins in his first six career appearances. He hasn't allowed an earned run in his eight innings, either.
"I didn't expect anything like this," said Ross, who wasn't even really in the team's plans for this season until an impressive spring.
Ross is getting noticed for more than the cowboy get-up put together by veteran pitchers that he has to put on before each game to walk from the dugout to the bullpen.
"I'm totally fine with that as long as I can be here," he said. "I'm just enjoying it so far, soaking it all in and trying to remember what's going good right now."
Texas was ahead to stay after Beltre led off the second against Phil Hughes (1-3) with his third homer, a 441-foot drive that landed high on the grassy hill in straightaway center field. Beltre's first run-scoring single came an inning later when Texas added three more runs.
"We believe he can do it and I know he believes he can do, but right now sometimes the ball runs back a little bit, he leaves the curveball up a little bit. Cutter sometimes isn't getting where he wants it," manager Joe Girardi said of Hughes. "It is frustrating, but you have to keep working at it."
Hughes was gone after hitting the next batter, though the inside pitch only skimmed the wind-blown jersey of Nelson Cruz, who didn't seem to realize what had happened until home plate umpire Brian Runge stepped out and pointed toward first base.
The Rangers have won 12 consecutive regular season series overall, dating back to last year.
New York had won six road games in a row after their 7-4 victory in the series opener at Texas. But the Yankees have now lost consecutive games for the first time since getting swept in three games at Tampa Bay to start the season.
Derek Jeter had two more hits, extending his hitting streak to 16 games. He raised his average to .420 and his majors-leading hits total to 34.
Napoli led off the fourth with his seventh homer. That came off David Phelps, who gave up a leadoff shot to Moreland two innings later before Beltre had another RBI single.
Feliz, the closer-turned-No. 5 starter, pitched an inning of relief since the Rangers are skipping his turn in the rotation since his scheduled day to pitch was Thursday.
It was the first relief appearance for Feliz since his blown save in Game 6 of the World Series, when Texas was twice within a strike of a championship-clinching victory before losing.
Texas led 4-0 after 2 2/3 innings against Hughes, whose season ERA increased from 6.75 to 7.88. The big right-hander allowed five hits, struck out two and then hit two batters in his last inning.
Hughes had allowed only three hits in 15 1/3 scoreless innings his previous three regular-season appearances against Texas -- all at Rangers Ballpark. His first major league victory came there in May 2007, when he threw 6 1/3 scoreless innings in his second major league start.
But there were also those two AL championship series games in Texas since, when Hughes allowed 11 runs in 8 2/3 innings to lose both in 2010.
"Something has to change. I just have to keep working hard. That's all I can do. I feel good with the stuff I'm throwing," Hughes said. "Every outing like this is disappointing. It's tough to deal with, you just hope things get better before they get worse."
|The Rangers' Adrian Beltre follows through on a RBI single in the third inning against the Yankees. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
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|New York Yankees|
|Derek Jeter, SS||4||0||2||0||0||1||0||.420|
|Curtis Granderson, CF||3||0||0||0||1||2||1||.257|
|Alex Rodriguez, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.221|
|Robinson Cano, 2B||4||1||1||0||0||1||1||.267|
|Mark Teixeira, 1B||4||1||2||0||0||1||0||.268|
|Nick Swisher, RF||4||0||1||0||0||1||3||.264|
|Raul Ibanez, LF||4||1||2||2||0||0||2||.271|
|Eric Chavez, DH||3||0||0||1||0||1||1||.313|
|Russell Martin, C||3||0||0||0||0||0||1||.182|
|2B - Nick Swisher (7, Nathan), Raul Ibanez (2, Feldman)|
|HR - Raul Ibanez (3, Feliz)|
|SF - Eric Chavez (1)|
|RBI - Raul Ibanez 2 (11), Eric Chavez (3)|
|SB - Derek Jeter (1, 2nd base off Feldman/Napoli)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|DP - Jeter-Cano-Teixeira|
|New York Yankees|
|Phil Hughes (L,1-3)||2.2||5||4||4||0||2||1||7.88|
|IBB - Hamilton by David Phelps, by Hamilton|
|HBP - Hamilton (by Phil Hughes), Cruz (by Phil Hughes)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Phil Hughes 52-36, Clay Rapada 4-3, David Phelps 48-28, Cody Eppley 17-9, Boone Logan 2-1, Rafael Soriano 18-12|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Phil Hughes 5-1, Clay Rapada 1-0, David Phelps 5-1, Cody Eppley 3-0, Rafael Soriano 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Phil Hughes 15, Clay Rapada 1, David Phelps 15, Cody Eppley 4, Boone Logan 1, Rafael Soriano 4|
|Ian Kinsler, 2B||5||2||3||0||0||0||0||.304|
|Elvis Andrus, SS||3||0||1||1||0||1||0||.239|
|Josh Hamilton, CF-LF||2||1||0||0||2||0||1||.390|
|Adrian Beltre, 3B||5||1||3||3||0||0||4||.313|
|Michael Young, DH||4||0||1||1||0||0||4||.356|
|Nelson Cruz, RF||3||0||0||0||0||1||0||.247|
|David Murphy, LF||4||0||0||0||0||0||3||.304|
|Craig Gentry, CF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.280|
|Mike Napoli, C||3||1||1||1||1||1||0||.271|
|Mitch Moreland, 1B||3||2||2||1||1||0||1||.179|
|2B - Ian Kinsler (6, Hughes), Michael Young (3, Hughes)|
|HR - Adrian Beltre (3, Hughes), Mike Napoli (7, Phelps), Mitch Moreland (2, Phelps)|
|SH - Elvis Andrus 2 (4)|
|RBI - Elvis Andrus (8), Adrian Beltre 3 (10), Michael Young (13), Mike Napoli (14), Mitch Moreland (5)|
|2-OUT RBI - Adrian Beltre (3), Michael Young (9)|
|SB - Elvis Andrus (3, 2nd base off Soriano/Martin)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|Outfield Assists - Josh Hamilton 1|
|DP - Hamilton-Moreland|
|Robbie Ross (W,4-0)||2.2||0||0||0||0||2||0||2.25|
|Pitches-Strikes - Scott Feldman 62-41, Robbie Ross 30-19, Neftali Feliz 16-12, Mike Adams 10-7, Joe Nathan 18-12|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Feldman 3-3, Robbie Ross 3-3, Neftali Feliz 2-0, Mike Adams 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Scott Feldman 16, Robbie Ross 8, Neftali Feliz 4, Mike Adams 3, Joe Nathan 4|
|Attendance - 47942|
|Game Time - 2:55|
|Temperature - 88|
|Umpires - Home - Brian Runge, First Base - Marvin Hudson, Second Base - Tim McClelland, Third Base - Ted Barrett|