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Mound matchup: Holland vs. Baker

5/30/2010

The Rangers will try to avoid being swept in the three-game series tonight in Minnesota. LHP Derek Holland will face RHP Scott Baker at 7:05 p.m. on ESPN2. Here’s a quick look at the matchup:

Holland (2-0, 2.95 ERA): After manager Ron Washington used Holland in the eighth inning of Wednesday’s loss to Kansas City, the lefty will be coming in on just three days' rest, though it has been seven days since his last start. The 23-year-old last started May 22 against the Chicago Cubs in a 5-4, 10-inning loss, but he didn’t factor in to the decision. Holland pitched six innings, allowing four hits, but two of those were home runs. This will be Holland’s first road start of the season, but the third start of his career against the Twins. In the previous two starts, Holland was 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA.

Baker (4-4, 4.48 ERA): The 28-year-old will be making his tenth start of the year. Baker has been much better at home, where he has a 3.31 ERA, than on the road (5.86). The right-hander is 3-1 in five games at home and has allowed 30 hits in 32.2 innings of work and has struck out 25 at home to just four walks. Baker’s last start was May 25 against the Yankees. In that game, he lasted five innings, giving up three hits, but gave up no runs and was not a factor in the decision (a 1-0 loss for the Twins).

Hitters: Rangers David Murphy and Michael Young have struggled against Baker. Murphy is 1-for-10 with four strikeouts, and Young is 5-for-19 with three RBIs and four strikeouts. Elvis Andrus has the highest batting average of any Ranger vs. Baker at .429 (3-for-7). Holland has allowed Nick Punto and Delmon Young each to bat .500 against him (2-for-4), and each has homered off of Holland. Joe Mauer is 1-6 against the lefty.