Holland beats bug, A's as Rangers rebound
OAKLAND, Calif. — Derek Holland's performance Tuesday
was a little guttier than a lot of Texas Rangers fans realize.
Holland, who pitched 5 1/3 innings in a 6-3 victory over Oakland, has been
slowed by a stomach bug that he's been feeling since the team traveled to Seattle
more than two weeks ago.
It's zapped him of his velocity and weight, but it didn't keep him from
pitching long enough for the Texas offense to get going Tuesday as he yielded
three runs on seven hits. He had a shutout going until the fifth inning when
the lack of steam finally caught up with him.
"I've got a little bit of fatigue and I've been losing a little bit of
weight,"' said Holland, who has dropped nearly 15 pounds since he got
sick. "I was making sure to use everything I had. I know we used a couple
of arms yesterday. It's my job to make sure and go out there as long as I
possibly could despite being a little fatigued."
Holland was able to keep his fastball down in the first four innings but his
command started to waver at the same time his strength did. Luckily for him,
the Rangers offense was back on track one night after being no-hit until the
Ian Kinsler's two-run double in the third inning started the scoring and Josh
Hamilton's RBI double followed. That three-run inning was the biggest for the
Rangers since they scored five in a 21-8 loss to Seattle last week.
Texas was able to add single runs in the fourth and fifth and was aggressive on
the base paths all night. It was just the kind of performance Texas manager Ron
Washington wanted to see out of his team following Monday's 12-1 loss.
"We bounced back today and played a real aggressive ballgame,"
Washington said. "We were able to play our type of ballgame. We made them
work also. That's the way we have to play. That's the way we do play. Sometimes
it does cause an inning to end but I'll take that every day of the week."
With the Rangers up 5-0, Holland ran into trouble in the fifth inning when
Collin Cowgill hit a two-run homer. Yoenis Cespedes added a solo homer in the
sixth and Holland then allowed a walk and a hit to end his night.
Alexi Ogando came on and struck out Kurt Suzuki and induced
Adam Rosales to pop out to end the Oakland threat. Ogando worked out of another
jam in the seventh as Oakland had the tying runners on base before he struck
out Brandon Inge.
Holland (5-4) pitched long enough to get the game to the winning pieces in the
Texas bullpen as Mike Adams and Joe Nathan finished things off as the Rangers
limited Oakland to 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position. Washington said
he didn't know Holland was still feeling bad until after the game.
Holland, who is taking medication, said he's starting to feel better. Tuesday
night's win, which followed a disastrous start last week in which he didn't
make it out of the second inning, should help too.
"I saw it (my velocity) dropped," said Holland, who walked two and
struck out two on his 92-pitch night. "I just have to keep plugging away
and get my weight back and everything, and it will be all right. I'm not
freaking out about it or anything. It's slowly getting a little better."
Holland getting back on track was good. So was the Texas offense, which received
a hit from every starter in the lineup and an RBI from five players. That's the
kind of balance the Rangers need to get back on track on a road trip that began
with a 1-3 start.
"It's nice that it happens up and down the lineup because when it does happen
up and down our lineup that's when we're most effective," Holland said.
"The thing I loved the most was how aggressive we were on the base