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Ross finding a new role challenging

ARLINGTON -- Robbie Ross Jr. didn't pitch through five innings for the second time this season Saturday night against the Blue Jays, but Rangers manager Ron Washington is pleased with his progress.

Ross, working in a starting role as opposed to coming out of the bullpen, is 1-4 with a 4.78 ERA in nine starts. Though he's not having the results yet, Washington said he likes that Ross is staying aggressive and competitive.

"The thing is for two years or three years, Robbie had just been having to come in and get two, three, four outs, five outs. Now we've got to go through a lineup and hopefully try to get 27 outs, or get 20 outs, or get 18 outs," Washington said. "It's not easy coming from a reliever to a starter. It's a different animal ... and then to do it at the Major League level? That's even more tough."

Ross said he would've liked to have gone longer in Saturday's game, but that his pitch count got too high.

"It's been tough. Obviously you want to come out and go out there and throw up a zero and go seven, eight innings. But it's not always that case," Ross said. "The past few outings have been tough, but I think it's a growing process and I want to keep grinding and keep battling."

Grace Raynor is an associate reporter for

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