June 6, 2012

Rebounding Holland sets up Rangers for victory

Derek Holland, still fighting an ailment, gets the win as Texas subdues Oakland.

OAKLAND, Calif. -- As poorly as Derek Holland pitched last week, just about anything he could have done Tuesday night would have been upgrade.

And he was markedly better against Oakland than when he allowed eight runs in 1 2/3 innings May 30 to Seattle. But not all is right with the left-hander.

Holland continues to be affected by a lingering stomach virus that has caused him to lose 15 pounds in two weeks. His velocity dipped sharply in the sixth inning, and he had to leave the game with his energy level on empty.

But he was the winning pitcher as the Texas Rangers rebounded from a Monday night drubbing to beat the A's 6-3.

“I just got a little bit fatigued,” said Holland, who allowed seven hits and threw 92 pitches in 5 1/3 innings. “I've been losing a little bit of weight because of my stomach virus. I tried to give everything I had.”

Ian Kinsler and Josh Hamilton had run-scoring doubles in a three-run third inning, and Yorvit Torrealba had a sacrifice fly in the fourth. Michael Young added a two-out RBI triple in the fifth as the Rangers built a 5-0 lead.

Kinsler went 2 for 5 and scored an insurance run in the ninth on a single by Elvis Andrus after stealing second base with one out. Five different players drove in a run, and all nine batters had a hit.

“It's certainly nice that it happens up and down the lineup,” manager Ron Washington said. “That's when we're most effective.”

Holland (5-4) had allowed three hits and a walk over the first four innings before issuing a leadoff double to Kurt Suzuki in the fifth. Holland got the next to Oakland hitters, but coughed up a two-run homer to Collin Cowgill, his first of the season.

Yoenis Cespedes started the sixth with a solo shot on a decent pitch from Holland, but his velocity was only in the upper 80s. It's usually anywhere from 92 to 95 mph.

Holland got the next batter, but allowed a single to Kila Ka'aihue and was replaced by Alexi Ogando.

“I kind of was creeping with me,” Holland said. “In the middle of the fifth is when it really started kicking in.”

Ogando, Mike Adams and Joe Nathan held Oakland down over the final 3 2/3 innings, though the A's had at least one base runner against each reliever.

They had runners at second and third with two outs in the seventh after a wild pitch by Ogando, but he got Brandon Inge swinging to end the inning.

“That was the biggest pitch of the game right there,” manager Ron Washington said.

Washington said that he isn't concerned about Holland, who had been prescribed medicine to help fight a virus that settled in during the Rangers' three-game series last month at Seattle.

He first pitched with it May 25 against Toronto and lasted 7 1/3 innings, but he needed intravenous fluids after the game. Right-hander Yu Darvish and catcher Mike Napoli were also affected by a stomach bug during the Toronto series.

“I don't feel anything stomach-wise when I'm out there,” said Holland, who is eating regularly. “It's more of a weakness thing. I've just got to keep plugging away and get that weight back and it'll be OK. I'm not freaking out or anything.”

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