Ross strong in rehab, but return date TBD

Ross strong in rehab, but return date TBD

MINNEAPOLIS -- Tyson Ross demonstrated on Saturday night he is ready to return to the rotation, but the Rangers aren't sure when that will be. The Rangers are off on Monday and Thursday this week, factors that will combine to delay Ross' return.

Ross pitched seven innings for Double-A Frisco on Saturday against Corpus Christi and allowed just one run. He gave up four hits, walked one and struck out eight while throwing 96 pitches.

"He had sinking life on the fastball and a lot of swing and chase on the slider," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "Health-wise, he seemed to come out of it good. He was able to take advantage of some young hitters' aggressiveness. All in all, it was a solid report."

Ross has been on the disabled list since July 24 with a blister on his right index finger. But he had also allowed a combined 14 runs over seven innings in his two previous starts, and his time on the DL was used for more than just letting the finger heal.

"He has done a great job working on his delivery and keeping the delivery intact," Banister said. "The ability to stay consistent ... there were a couple of parts to this puzzle that have been advantageous for Tyson."

The Rangers are planning on Andrew Cashner and A.J. Griffin starting the two games against the Mets on Tuesday and Wednesday. They are also lining up Cole Hamels, Martin Perez and Cashner to pitch in the three-game series against the Astros next weekend in Arlington.

The earliest Ross would return to the rotation would be Aug. 14 against the Tigers.

Diekman staying with Rangers: Banister said he doesn't expect left-handed reliever Jake Diekman to pitch in the Minor Leagues on medical rehabilitation assignment anytime soon. Diekman has thrown two live batting practice sessions since resuming his throwing program, and he will continue on that course of action.

"We are going to continue to build up his endurance and stamina," Banister said.

Diekman has been sidelined all season while recovering from three abdominal surgeries to address ulcerative colitis. He threw 31 pitches of live batting practice on Saturday without issues.

Rangers beat:

Adrian Beltre's single on Saturday gave him 5,405 career total bases. He passed George Brett and moved into 19th place all-time.

• Beltre started at designated hitter on Sunday, so Joey Gallo was at third base for the 55th time this season. Gallo also has 30 starts at first and eight in left.

• Beltre's start gave him 2,778 games played. He is 26th all-time in that department, passing Tony Perez.

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.