Holland’s bad run against Yankees continues

ARLINGTON, Texas — As good as the starting pitching
for the Texas Rangers has been this season, they were due for a bad start.

Derek Holland and the New York Yankees provided such a combination.

Holland, who was 0-4 lifetime against New York with a 9.00 ERA coming into
Monday’s game, allowed seven runs in six innings as the Yankees beat the
Rangers 7-4.

Holland (2-1) is just the second Texas starter to lose a game this season and
the first to allow more than five runs in a start. It happened on a night in
which the left-hander was never able to get into a groove, as New York scored
twice in the first and never trailed.

“I didn’t do a good job of attacking the zone right away and that was the
big thing,” said Holland, who hadn’t lost a regular-season game since Aug.
21, 2011. “A couple of pitches here and there weren’t exactly where I
needed them to be and they came back and got me. I battled. I gave everything I
had even though things weren’t going my way.”

Holland, whose ERA against New York is now 9.26, walked four batters with all
four coming on full-count pitches. The two runs New York scored in the first
came on a two-out single from Curtis Granderson. He also walked No. 9 hitter
Chris Stewart to open the fifth inning. That proved to be pivotal as New York
scored four runs in that frame to take a 6-1 lead.

Alex Rodriguez had the big hit in that frame, a three-run homer which was his
first hit off a left-handed pitcher this year.

Texas manager Ron Washington sent a lot of credit New York’s way for making
Holland work. He threw 110 pitches, with just 67 going for strikes.

“It’s been a while,” Washington said of a Holland bad outing.
“He’s been very consistent. And once again, you know, that’s a pretty good
lineup. They do their business in that batter’s box. If you’re a little erratic
and not hitting your spots and doing what you’re supposed to do, they make you
pay. In one inning (the fifth) they made us pay tonight.”

The Rangers were unable to do that against New York ace CC Sabathia. The Yankees
ace was only starting in the series because of a rainout Sunday in Boston. That
worked against Texas as the Rangers were able to bruise the big left-hander,
but couldn’t knock him out of the game.

Texas trailed 7-1 before Josh Hamilton slammed his eighth homer of the season
in the sixth inning. The Rangers made it 7-4 in the seventh on a two-run double
by Craig Gentry.

But Sabathia followed that hit by retiring the final five batters he faced and
Mariano Rivera worked a perfect ninth as New York handed Holland his first loss
in Arlington since last July 2.

Holland knew he’d eventually lose, but that didn’t make Monday any easier to
take.

“You always go out there with the same mentality every time,” Holland
said. “You’re going out there to win. You want to give your team a chance
to win. The main thing is we’ve got to keep going out there. We’re going to
shake this off and I’m going to be ready for my next start.”

While Holland couldn’t keep the Yankees down, he was able to save the bullpen
extra work. The Rangers have received at least five innings from their starter
in every game this season. The Rangers got three perfect innings from Mark Lowe
and Koji Uehara Monday and were able to avoid Scott Feldman, keeping him in
line for a spot start Wednesday.

“We’re fine,” Washington said of his bullpen. “It (Lowe and Uehara)
saved it. It seems like we may have to pitch out of there Wednesday and they
did a good job of saving it.”

That didn’t look like it would be the case early as Holland threw 43 pitches
through two innings.

“Derek’s a great pitcher and he’s going to have a great season,” said
Michael Young, who talked with Holland late in the game. “The Yankees had some
good at-bats. He’s a tough kid. He’s going to bounce back. He battled. He’s
getting to be a real professional now. He’ll make adjustments and be ready to
roll in his next start.”