Ogando, Ross try to sort out command issues

Ogando, Ross try to sort out command issues

Ogando, Ross try to sort out command issues

OAKLAND -- The Rangers led, 6-3, after five innings Friday night. But they needed three pitchers to get to that point, and Jason Frasor saved everybody by getting the Rangers out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth. Starter Alexi Ogando and reliever Robbie Ross both had their issues.

Ogando, in his third start since coming off the disabled list, made it through just four innings. He allowed three runs on four hits and five walks while striking out one. He threw 92 pitches, 48 for strikes. Ogando has pitched 13 2/3 innings since his return, walking seven compared to four strikeouts.

"He's not hurt, so it's a matter of getting his command back," manager Ron Washington said. "He gets his command back, that will take care of everything. He's searching for his command. He has always been a strike-thrower. If he gets his command, the strikeouts will take care of itself."

Ross faced five batters in the fifth and allowed three to reach base on two singles and a walk. He did not complete the inning, turning it over to Frasor.

Ross is 2-2 with a 5.48 ERA since June 1, while opponents are hitting .287 off him. He averages 1.57 walks and hits per inning pitched. Over the first two months of the season, Ross was 2-0 with a 0.37 ERA, .231 opponents batting average and a 1.11 WHIP.

During that stretch, left-handed hitters had just seven singles in 31 at-bats. Since June 1, they are 16-for-38, including six doubles and three home runs.

"He's not hitting his spots," Washington said. "Robbie is at his best when he is commanding the baseball and hitting his spots. He's got to hone in on his command and execute his pitches. When he does that, we'll get the Robbie Ross that we know."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.