ARLINGTON, Texas -- Every pitcher knows that bad things seem to usually happen when two-out walks are issued. It's a major pitching no-no.
Derek Holland saw that up close Saturday. With the score tied at 1 in the top of the third, Holland made an error, failing to catch a one-hopper back at him on the mound. But he made up for it right after that by picking off Alejandro De Aza at first base. That should have been the boost needed to get the final out and move on to the fourth inning.
But Holland momentarily lost his control. He walked Brent Lillibridge on a 3-2 sinker that was low and got aggressive on Adam Dunn, getting ahead in the count 0-2. But he lost him, walking him on a 3-2 sinker that missed the zone. That garnered a visit from pitching coach Mike Maddux. He got ahead of Paul Konerko 0-2, but threw him an off-speed pitch over the plate and Konerko drilled it to the right-center gap to score two runs.
"That was really bad on my part and I’m really upset about that," Holland said. "That’s the big thing going out there and giving up free passes. You never want to go out there and give up free bases. One pitch got away from me. It’s not exactly where I wanted to throw it. It is the pitch I wanted to throw but I just didn’t it in the right spot."
Holland ended up with a quality start -- three earned runs in six innings -- but the 29-pitch third shortened his outing and forced the Rangers to play catch-up for the second time in the game.
Texas scored three runs for Holland, a rarity for him. They hadn't scored that few with Holland on the mound since last August. He led the league in run support at 7.64 per nine innings in 2011.