Rangers lend Derek Holland a helping hand in 4-1 victory

Derek Holland was handing out praise to his teammates Wednesday night about as often as Milwaukee’s right-handed-heavy lineup was collecting hits against the left-hander.

The Brewers had 10 of them against Holland and at least one in five of the seven innings he pitched.

While they had no shortage of base runners, they had a shortage of runs.

That’s why Holland was giving credit to the other eight players on the field behind him at Miller Park. They all had a hand in helping him survive and in helping the Rangers snap a four-game road losing streak.

Holland allowed only one run despite allowing double-digits in hits, and Ian Kinsler and Mitch Moreland each hit solo home runs as the Rangers beat the Brewers 4-1 to earn a split in the two-game interleague series.

“You’ve got to give our defense credit,” Holland said. “They were making plays big time. That was a true all-around nine guys doing every single thing to make this a win.”

Holland (3-2) has won two consecutive starts, both of which put an end to a losing streak. The Rangers had lost two straight before he beat Chicago on April 30, and they were on a two-game skid entering Wednesday.

The offense did its part, piling up the hits against Kyle Lohse. Included were singles by their first three hitters for 1-0 lead, and Kinsler and Moreland hit two-out homers in the second and third, respectively, for a 3-0 lead.

The only inning the Rangers didn’t collect a hit against Lohse was the fifth, and they had nine when the right-hander exited with one out in the seventh.

The Brewers, though, were down only 3-1 as they piled up the hits against Holland, but they also ran into two outs on the bases to keep them from drawing closer.

The first came in the third inning after Jean Segura was gunned down at home by Leonys Martin to end a frame in which the Brewers had three singles.

“He’s got a hose,” Kinsler said. “Probably one of the best in the game, if not the best.”

Milwaukee opened the sixth with a triple and a double for its first run and had a triple with two outs on a ball Nelson Cruz lost in the lights. But the Brewers scored only once as Aramis Ramirez, who had doubled, was thrown out at third for the first out of the inning while trying to advance on a wild pitch.

“If it was another guy, he probably would have been safe,” manager Ron Washington said. “But [Geovany Soto] made a good throw, and [Adrian] Beltre did a good job of getting the tag down.”

All but three of the hits against Holland were singles, and the Brewers had only five at-bats against him with runners in scoring position. He knows that a game like this in past seasons might have gotten away from him, but he said he felt like he was in control all game despite the high hit total.

He had thrown only 93 pitches before he was removed for a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning. Right-hander Tanner Scheppers worked a scoreless eighth, and Joe Nathan tossed a scoreless night even though Carlos Gomez reached third with no outs.

“They were putting the ball in the holes, but they weren’t getting the big hits,” Holland said. “Just because you give up a lot of hits — that doesn’t mean that you’re not doing your job.”

Kinsler went 3 for 5 and was a triple short of hitting for the cycle, and Moreland drove in the Rangers’ final run with a two-out single in the seventh. The hit came against a left-hander, former Rangers reliever Michael Gonzalez, and the left-handed-hitting Moreland is now batting .292 against lefties.

“We had multiple guys in the lineup that put together a lot of quality at-bats,” Kinsler said. “We gave ourselves a lot of opportunities. If we keep doing that, we’re going to win a lot of ballgames.”

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