Derek Holland returned to the mound for the first time since April and didn’t miss a beat. The Rangers scored three in the first and pulled away with three consecutive homers in the seventh to beat the Mariners 7-2 Wednesday afternoon at Globe Life Park. Texas begins a four-game series Thursday in Detroit.
Pitching: Derek Holland made an impressive return from a season-long shoulder strain to hold the Mariners to two runs on six hits in 6 1/3 innings. It was his first start since the home opener on April 10 when he left the game after one inning with a left shoulder injury. Holland struck out six, walked none and threw 93pitches. He left the game with the Rangers leading 3-2 after an infield single with one out in the seventh. Keone Kela replaced him and struck out Mike Zunino for the second out. Jesus Montero moved to second on a wild pitch. The Mariners nearly tied it at 3-3 on Ketel Marte’s single to center but Delino DeShields nailed Montero trying to score from second base. Jake Dielkman combined to pitch perfect eighth and ninth innings to close it out.
Hitting: Texas jumped on Mariners’ starter Mike Montgomery for three runs in the first. With one out, five consecutive Rangers reached, including singles by Shin-Soo Choo, Adrian Beltre and Mitch Moreland, who gave Texas a 1-0 lead with a single to left. After Mike Napoli was hit by a pitch, Elvus Andrus made it 3-0 with a two-run single to left.
Choo started the seventh by getting hit by a pitch. He nearly got doubled off at first on a fly out to right but Nelson Cruz’s throw to first sailed way high. Moreland followed with an 0-2 homer to right to make it 5-2. Mike Napoli and Andrus each followed with solo homers to make it 7-2.
Notable: Prince Fielder didn’t start Wednesday for the first time since July 22 at Colorado. Last time Fielder missed an entire game was June 18 ... Choo has reached bases safely in 24 consecutive games since the All-Star break. Texas has used three or more pitches in the 43 of the last 44 games, including Wednesday ... the Rangers had three consecutive homers for the first time since May 26, 2012 ... Andrus’ six homers match his career-high rookie season in 2009 ... Mariners’ reliever Joe Beimel served up three home runs in a six-pitch stretch in the seventh.
Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760