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Ross proving to teammates he belongs in bigs

Nats' rookie righty allows just two solo homers over 6 1/3 solid innings vs. Mets

NEW YORK -- Nationals right-hander Joe Ross continued to show that he has a bright future. During Washington's 3-2 loss Saturday, Ross gave the Mets a battle, pitching 6 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on four hits while striking out six.

One problem, though. Mets first baseman Lucas Duda hit two mammoth home runs against the right-hander. The second one tied the score at 2 in the seventh.

"He was hitting the ball hard," said Ross, the Nationals' No. 3 prospect. "Those home runs, they were OK pitches. I wouldn't say down the middle. Obviously, he has a lot of power. I kind of learned my lesson. Be a little more careful next time."

Ross acknowledged that he was tired when he started the seventh inning. It didn't help that he singled during the top of the inning and had to run the bases. After the home runs to Duda, Ross allowed a one-out double to Kelly Johnson and left the game with a no-decision.

Teammates Jayson Werth and Ian Desmond came away impressed with what they saw from Ross on the mound.

"[He has the] ability to make pitches, [he has good] stuff," Werth said. "His mound presence, demeanor -- he is out there pitching like he has been around a while. I think he has a future in this game."

Said Desmond, "He is going to be around this game for a long time. He has some serious composure on the mound. That's what impressed me the most."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats.
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