LAS VEGAS — Robbie Ross excelled out of the bullpen last year for the Texas Rangers. He hopes to do the same as a starter in 2013.
Mitch Moreland hit a two-run homer off Carlos Villanueva, Ross pitched three scoreless innings and the Texas Rangers beat the Chicago Cubs 8-5 in a matchup of split squads.
Ross didn't make things easy on himself, though, stranding six runners – including leaving the bases loaded in the third. He allowed four hits, walked three and struck out four
"I should have went five innings to help my team more," said Ross, who threw 80 pitches. "I was trying to do the best I could (to go five)."
Ross was 6-0 with a 2.22 ERA in 58 appearances in his rookie season.
Rangers reliever Coty Woods worked two perfect innings. A Rule 5 pick, he needs to make the major league club or Texas will have to offer him back to Colorado for $25,000, half the price they paid to acquire him at the winter meetings draft.
In his previous appearance, Woods allowed two hits and a run against Oakland in the ninth inning.
"Last Thursday, it wasn't that bad," Woods said. "I felt my stuff was better last time and I rolled it into today. Obviously, I don't want to lose this opportunity. I'm happy with the opportunity the Rangers gave me. If it doesn't work out – it doesn't work out."
Woods has struck out nine in 8 1-3 innings this spring and has a 2.18 ERA. He has not allowed a run six of eight appearances.
Villanueva pitched four innings, allowing four hits and three runs. He walked two and struck out two.
Jose Felix also hit a two-run homer in seventh for Texas.
Nate Schierholtz homered to right leading off the sixth and Tim Saunders had a two-run shot in the eighth for the Cubs.
Chad Bell got the save, striking out Brad Nelson with the bases loaded.
NOTES: Rangers LHP Derek Holland will pitch in a minor league game on Tuesday. Holland was thought to have come down with food poisoning during the WBC. . Elvis Andrus quickly upped his hitting streak to nine games with a single to center leading off the game for the Rangers. He scored on Moreland's home run. .. The teams used 13 pitchers with Texas putting seven on the mound. . This concluded the second straight year that the two teams played a two-game weekend series at Cashman Field. The teams drew 17,800 for the games, which they split. The Cubs have played in Las Vegas every season since 2005.