Rangers notes: Derek Holland facing tall tasks vs. Detroit

Posted Friday, Jul. 12, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Left-hander Derek Holland will be trying to accomplish two things Saturday for the first time this season while pitching for the first time in his career at Comerica Park.

He will oppose Detroit right-hander Max Scherzer, who is 13-0 and in line to be the starting pitcher for the American League on Tuesday at the All-Star Game.

“I’ve got to match Scherzer pitch for pitch,” said Holland, an Ohio native but a passionate fan of the University of Michigan’s sports teams. “He’s 13-0 for a reason.”

To make Scherzer 13-1, Holland will likely have to retire Miguel Cabrera for the first time this season. Cabrera went 3 for 3 against Holland on May 19, with the final two hits both clearing the fence at Rangers Ballpark.

Cabrera, the reigning AL MVP after winning the Triple Crown, leads the majors in batting average and RBIs while trailing only Chris Davis in home runs.

“I’ve got to try to do everything I can to try to slow him down,” Holland said. “Last time he took care of me, and hopefully I can take care of him. But you can’t forget about the other guys in the lineup.”

Glove woes

The most eye-opening statistic produced so far this season by Adrian Beltre isn’t anything that he has done with a bat in his hands, but rather with a glove on his left hand.

The four-time Gold Glove-winning third baseman has committed nine errors after having only eight in 2012 and 11 in 2011.

He made an error that led to two runs Monday at Baltimore, seemed stunned to miss an Adam Jones line drive Wednesday, and had a Nolan Reimold single deflect off his glove for a two-out single.

“I whiffed it,” Beltre said. “I should have had it.”

Manager Ron Washington, who considers himself a defensive guru, said Beltre’s range isn’t limited by his achy left hamstring. He’s simply a victim of his own success.

“You all are just so used to seeing him suck up everything until when he doesn’t suck up something, there’s got to be something wrong,” Washington said. “That’s not necessarily so. As good as he is, he’s still human.”

The Reimold single, which extended the eighth inning for Nate McLouth to drive in a key insurance run, was the result of a bad hop.

“When it bounced it hit the edge of that lip, and it jumped on him,” Washington said. “He reacted. It’s wasn’t like a clean hop that he just booted it.”

Second-half surge?

David Murphy has a career average of .300 after the All-Star break, which he said is nice to know but comes with no guarantees that his season will turn around next week when the second half begins.

“I can’t just show up at the field and because it’s the second half, I’m going to get two hits and drive in some runs,” he said.

Murphy, who entered Friday batting .221, is most bothered by his lack of run production. He’s had only three RBIs since June 12 and was 2 for 34 since May 26 with runners in scoring position.

“You’ve got to figure with his track record that things will turn around,” Washington said. “I’m hoping he makes the adjustments he has to make. I’ve still got confidence in Murphy. That’s why I keep running him out there.”

Briefly

• Outfielder Craig Gentry (broken left hand) will begin a rehab assignment Sunday with Double A Frisco. Utility man Jeff Baker (broken right hand) could join him Monday, and both could be ready to start the second half.

• Left-hander Matt Harrison (back surgery) hopes to throw his first bullpen session Friday if all goes well with long-toss today and Tuesday.

• The start time for the game July 29 against the Angels has been changed to 6:05 p.m. to accommodate a national broadcast. The game can be seen locally on Fox Sports Southwest.

• The Rangers signed 40th-round pick Sal Mendez, a prep left-hander from New Jersey, ahead of the deadline to sign players taken in the June draft. They did not sign their 38th-rounder, shortstop Sheldon Neuse from Keller Fossil Ridge. He will go to Oklahoma instead.

Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @JeffWilson

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