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Rangers show resiliency in face of big deficit

MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers didn't get quite the same Tyson Ross they had in his first start, when he carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning against the Mariners on Friday. Instead, the Blue Jays roughed him up early Wednesday, spotting Toronto a six-run lead in the first inning.

When the dust settled and the game ended, though, the Rangers nearly pulled off the comeback, but fell, 7-5. The offense scratched and clawed, and with the help of an inside-the-park home run, almost came all the way back. They outscored the Blue Jays, 5-1, after that opening inning, and had runners on base in the seventh and ninth innings with a chance to close the gap.

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ARLINGTON -- The Rangers didn't get quite the same Tyson Ross they had in his first start, when he carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning against the Mariners on Friday. Instead, the Blue Jays roughed him up early Wednesday, spotting Toronto a six-run lead in the first inning.

When the dust settled and the game ended, though, the Rangers nearly pulled off the comeback, but fell, 7-5. The offense scratched and clawed, and with the help of an inside-the-park home run, almost came all the way back. They outscored the Blue Jays, 5-1, after that opening inning, and had runners on base in the seventh and ninth innings with a chance to close the gap.

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Joey Gallo's three extra-base hits -- including his solo inside-the-park home run in the fifth -- sparked Texas and put the Rangers in a position to potentially yank a win out from the hole they were put in early.

"Obviously, it sucks at the end of the day to lose and have a loss, but to battle like that, down 6-0, is pretty good for our offense," Gallo said. "We could've just laid back and said, 'It's 6-0, what's the chance of us coming back?' And it ended up being one big hit away from tying that game up, so I think that's pretty exciting for us as an offense, and hopefully we'll continue that into tomorrow."

The Rangers were aided by a bullpen that kept Toronto at bay, combining for six shutout innings across four relievers -- two of whom weren't even with the team before Saturday. Wednesday marked the third time this year that the bullpen had worked at least six scoreless innings.

Video: TOR@TEX: Banister on Tyson Ross' poor outing

"I've been in all the roles in the bullpen, so this is nothing new for me," said Ernesto Frieri, who pitched a career-high three innings. "We have to hold the game like that. We did a really good job, the entire bullpen. If we keep doing that, we're going to win a lot of games."

With everyone healthy, and pitching reinforcements on the way as early as next week, the 'pen and resilient offense could be a recipe for making sure the Rangers don't have to dig out of a hole in the first place. But if they do, the Rangers are confident they've got the tools to turn it around.

Video: TOR@TEX: DeShields called safe after challenge

"We have great confidence with our offense, and the hitters that we have in there now," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "It's what we envisioned coming out of Spring Training with the group of hitters, professional hitters to be able to do those things. We feel confident that we're going to score. They were able to put five runs across the board, had some opportunities for a few more, but yeah, it's a plus for us going forward."

Sam Butler is a reporter for MLB.com based in Arlington.

Texas Rangers