Derek Holland tossed his eighth career shutout Sunday, scattering three hits, and struck out 11 as the Texas Rangers completed a three-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles with a 6-0 victory.
The win moved the Rangers to within three games of first place in the American League West and allowed them to maintain their 1 1/2-game lead for the second wild card.
Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus, Hanser Alberto and Delino DeShields drove in runs for the Rangers, who have won four straight games and seven of their past nine.
Pitching: Holland easily had his best start of the season and one of the best starts of his career. He worked quickly and efficiently, needing only 74 pitches to complete six innings even though he had seven strikeouts. … Only twice did the Orioles have a runner advance as far as second base. … Holland struck out Jonathan Schoop to end the seventh, giving him nine strikeouts and one of each Orioles batter. … Holland ended the eighth inning at 101 pitches. ... His 10th strikeout was Adam Jones for the second out of the ninth, and No. 11 was Chris Davis to end it. ... Holland retired the final 14 batters he faced.
Hitting: It was more of the same from the offense, and that was a good thing for the Rangers. Or good enough. … They opened their half of the first with three straight singles, followed by a sacrifice fly from Adrian Beltre for a 1-0 lead. With Mitch Moreland batting, Miguel Gonzalez uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Shin-Soo Choo to score. … Choo, who had the second of the three first-inning singles, has reached base in 33 consecutive starts and 21 straight games overall. … Elvis Andrus used his legs to produce another run in the third, legging out an infield hit to score Beltre from third. Andrus’ hit was the Rangers’ third straight two-out hit. … Andrus’ legs came into play in the sixth, too, as he started the inning with a bunt hit. After Chris Gimenez was plunked with one out, Andrus stole third and scored on a single by Hanser Alberto. ... Delino DeShields drove in a run in the eighth with a two-out single, scoring Will Venable. Gimenez also scored on an error by left fielder Steve Pearce.
Notable: The Rangers open a 10-game homestand Monday at San Diego. They play the Padres three times, the Angels three times and the Mariners four times.