Derek Holland was pleading to stay in for one more batter.
Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington had already decided that the rookie left-hander, who allowed only two hits while getting within one out of his first complete game, had done enough.
“It was just me begging out there, ‘Come on, let me get this one guy, I’ve got it,”‘ Holland said, describing the conversation on the mound.
Holland had to settle for being the first Rangers rookie lefty with 10 strikeouts and leading Texas to a 7-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Thursday night.
“We got a real good look at what Derek Holland is capable of doing,” Washington said. “His future gets brighter.”
Holland took a one-hit shutout into the ninth, retiring 24 of his first 25 batters. The only hits he allowed were Jack Hannahan‘s broken-bat single with two outs in the fifth and Franklin Gutierrez‘s two-out single in the ninth on his 118th and final pitch.
When Washington came out of the dugout after Gutierrez reached, fans booed. The manager emphatically shook his head “No” as the 22-year-old pitcher asked to stay in, but the two were laughing before Holland left the mound to a loud ovation.
“It was an awesome feeling and put chills in my spine,” Holland said.
Holland had already thrown 103 pitches, eight more than his previous high, when he started the ninth with his only walk.
“We had him limited to 120, he wasn’t going any further than that,” Washington said. “He’d taken us as far as we needed him to take us.”
Warner Madrigal gave up an RBI single to Jose Lopez and walked Mike Sweeney to load the bases before Chris Shelton flied out to end it.
Michael Young hit two of Texas’ five home runs, three of them off starter Garrett Olson (3-5). Hank Blalock, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Marlon Byrd also connected.
A night after the Rangers struck out 18 times against Detroit, they had 12 hits.
Holland, the Rangers‘ top pitching prospect who was called up two weeks into the season, has split time between the rotation and bullpen. He was 1-5 with a 6.42 ERA in his first nine starts, the victory coming July 4 against Tampa Bay.
He threw 88 of his pitches for strikes and became the first Texas starter to go at least 8 2-3 innings and give up two hits since Doug Davis threw a two-hit shutout April 11, 2002. He is the first Rangers lefty with 10 strikeouts since Matt Perisho on Oct. 3, 1999.
“He was locating his sinker really well and his slider was deceptive,” Mariners catcher Rob Johnson said. “He was forcing us to be aggressive. It wasn’t one of those nights where you could afford to be patient and wait for your pitch because he was locating the ball.”
Hannahan’s hit floated over Holland’s head, then the ball dribbled into center field beyond the reach of shortstop Elvis Andrus and second baseman Omar Vizquel.
“After it happened and everybody started going crazy with the perfect game, I had no idea. I didn’t really think anything of it,” Holland said. “After it was done, it was done. I still had work to do.”
Young led off the third and fifth with homers, and had a one-out single in the seventh before Byrd’s two-run shot made it 7-0.
Along with the eighth multihomer game of his career, his first since April 11, 2007, Young had three hits for the fifth time in 10 games. The All-Star third baseman, batting .326 overall, is 19 for 37 during that stretch.
Texas took a 3-0 lead in the second when Blalock and Saltalamacchia homered off Olson, another left-hander who has split time as a starter and reliever this season.
Olson gave up four runs, on three homers, in 3 2-3 innings.
NOTES: Blalock’s solo shot gave him his fourth 20-homer season, the first since 2005. … Mariners LHP Erik Bedard plans to play catch Friday as he rehabs from left shoulder inflammation, which has him on the 15-day disabled list for the second time this season. No bullpen session has been scheduled yet. … The gametime temperature was 88 degrees, 6 degrees cooler than it was in Seattle at the same time. … Ichiro Suzuki, the majors’ leading hitter at .368 coming in, went 0 for 4, ending a seven-game hitting streak during which he was 15 for 30.