GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Robbie Ross gave a strong audition in his bid to join the Texas rotation, pitching seven shutout innings that led the Rangers over the Cleveland Indians 5-0 Tuesday.
Ross allowed four hits, striking out eight, and walking three.
The Rangers did not commit to Ross after the game but his performance left little doubt.
"He was pitching out there again today," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "He still out there. He's done nothing to change that. He's been pitching his butt off. He's been doing everything. We have to make a decision soon. Robbie's done his job against a pretty good lineup. You can't ask for much more."
Michael Choice hit his fourth home run, connecting off Indians starter Josh Tomlin.
Tomlin is competing with Carlos Carrasco for the fourth spot in the rotation. Danny Salazar will be the fifth starter.
Tomlin allowed two runs in the first but put together four scoreless innings until Choice hit the home run.
"I made a couple mistakes and that first inning got away from me. After that I was able to settle back in," Tomlin said. "I threw a hanging curveball. It kind of backed up on me."
Indians manager, Terry Francona, also faces a tough decision. Carrasco pitched well on Monday.
STARTING TIMES: Tomlin missed most of last season with elbow reconstructive surgery. He has a 2.57 ERA in his prior four spring appearances.
Tomlin pitched 6⅓ innings and gave up four runs on seven hits and two walks. He struck out five.
TRAINER'S ROOM: Jason Giambi will be placed on the disabled list on Sunday. He suffered a fractured rib on his right side after being hit by a pitch from Edwin Jackson of the Cubs on March 7.
SANTANA AT THIRD: Lonnie Chisenhall was competing with Carlos Santana at third base. The spring-long experiment to move Santana to third was a success. The Indians told Chisenhall that he made the team on Sunday. Santana will play some third this season.
"Carlos will play third," Francona said. "I'm not sure how it will play itself out [as far as playing time] but this gives us a lot of options."