Rangers hoping to give Bush's arm a rest

Rangers hoping to give Bush's arm a rest

DETROIT -- Rangers closer Matt Bush had to work extra hard to earn his fifth save on Friday night in a 5-3 victory over the Tigers. Bush allowed an unearned run on two hits, a walk and shortstop Elvis Andrus' throwing error before striking out Alex Avila to end the game.

Bush ended up throwing a career-high-tying 33 pitches. He also threw nine Thursday, so Rangers manager Jeff Banister was hoping to stay away from using Bush on Saturday against the Tigers.

It's also why the Rangers want to stay with an eight-man bullpen, even though it leaves them with just three players on the bench.

"We still have to protect him," Banister said. "Unless you are in a situation where you have to pinch-hit off the bench a lot, or you are in a strict platoon situation, I like having the extra arm out there."

Bush missed a week in April because of inflammation in the AC joint in his right shoulder that required a cortisone shot. Since his return on April 16, he has made 13 appearances and not allowed an earned run. In 12 2/3 innings, he has allowed two unearned runs on eight hits and five walks, while striking out 16.

"I feel a lot better," Bush said. "I am able to get a lot more work, and my arm is in great shape. I had a little bit of struggle before and after the cortisone shot. But I'm getting in the mode of feeling a lot better."

Ross headed for Round Rock
Tyson Ross is slated to pitch a rehab assignment for Triple A Round Rock on Tuesday against Las Vegas. The target is for Ross to throw five innings and 75 pitches as he continues his recovery from off-season shoulder surgery.

Ross will likely have at least two Minor League starts before being considered as an option at the Major League level. He threw in the bullpen for pitching coach Doug Brocail on Saturday afternoon before the Rangers game with the Tigers.

"Very good ... the best I have seen him," Brocail said. "His effort level was up, the percentage of balls over the plate was up. It was good."

Rangers beat
• Reliever Jose Leclerc, on the disabled list, was examined by Dr. Tom DiLiberti, a hand specialist, on Friday in Dallas and was diagnosed with tendinitis in his right index finger. Leclerc was given a cortisone injection and will be shut down from throwing for several days.

• Entering Saturday, Joey Gallo had 20 home runs in his first 49 Major League hits. The only other player in Major League history with at least 20 home runs in his first 50 career hits was Mark McGwire in 1986-87 with the Athletics.

Statcast: Gallo's 439-foot homer

• This season, 13 of Gallo's 26 hits have gone for home runs. That 50-percent ratio is the highest in the Majors. The next highest is 37.5 percent, by Khris Davis and Yonder Alonso for the Athletics.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.