The Texas Rangers won their third consecutive series this afternoon against the Baltimore Orioles, bringing their record to 8 – 1 for the season. Texas continues to hold the best record in all of Major League Baseball. This game was won with pitching, Derek Holland and the bullpen worked well and earned the W.
Derek Holland appeared in his second game of the season and was excellent. “The Dutch Oven” went a full six innings allowing five hits and no runs on the game. Holland in total threw 110 pitches and was still able to touch 93mph late in the game. Derek had six strikeouts in the outing and only two walks.
Holland’s game was not without drama. He allowed a couple of singles in the 1st inning, to Derek Lee and Vladimir Guererro. Holland struck out Mark Reynolds to end the first and stay out of trouble. A similar result occurred in the third inning, Holland walked Lee and then Vladdy hit a double but did not score Lee. Reynolds then grounded out to end the inning with runners at second and third.
A close moment occured in the fifth inning where Nick Markakis hit a single and Derek Lee hit a strong double to left. Hamilton threw hard to home and missed Yorvit Torrealba, Holland was in perfect position to back up the play and avoid any runs. Holland was then able to force a popup from Vladdy to end the inning.
Derek allowed a base runner in the sixth via hit by pitch to Mark Reynolds, after a battle he was able to escape again with no damage. Another good consistent outing by Holland reinforces how surprisingly good the Rangers rotation has been.
Darren Oliver came in to pitch the seventh inning forcing a fly to right from Robert Andino for the first out. Brian Roberts and Markakis both popped out as well and ended the inning with little effort.
Darren O’Day pitched the eighth inning and quickly forced a ground out from Derek Lee on an excellent throw to first by Adrian Beltre. He then forced Vlad to fly out to left and walked Mark Reynolds and immediately after allowed a walk to Adam Jones. Ron Washingon then pulled him immediately to bring in closer Neftali Feliz in what would be a four-out save. Feliz was able to force pinch-hitter Luke Scott to pop up to center to end the eighth inning.
Feliz started of the ninth with a pop to shallow left field and Josh Hamilton ran quickly to secure the first out practically sitting down to catch the ball. He gave up a hit to center by pinch hitter Felix Pie and then Brian Roberts popped out to Hamilton for the second out of the 9th. To wrap it up Nick Markakis hit a line-out to Adrian Beltre secured the save for Neftali Feliz and the win for Derek Holland.
At the top of the fourth Adrian Beltre hit a solid shot that just went barely foul, and came right back and hit the ball fair to put the first score on the board. After Holland’s exit the Rangers put more runs up in the seventh. Torreabla got on base with a fluke hit to center and Ian Kinsler hit a home run to make the game 3 to 0.
The Orioles couldn’t string together any runs in this game but the starting pitching was excellent. Jeremy Guthrie took the mound for Baltimore only allowing four hits and a solo home run. Jim Johnson came into relief and allowed the two-run homer from Kinsler. Most games giving up three runs will be good enough to win but the Baltimore bats were unable to get their runners home.
The Rangers take on the Detroit Tigers tomorrow in a three-game series, all games starting at 12:05pm Monday through Wednesday. Tomorrow Alexi Ogando takes on Justin Verlander.