- Calvin Watkins, ESPN Staff Writer
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HOUSTON -- Derek Holland said he was frustrated but everything he tried failed.
The Texas Rangers left-handed starter lost a four-run lead, gave up a season-high three home runs and was taken out after just five innings.
He took the loss in a 6-5 victory for the Houston Astros on Saturday night.
It was Holland's first start since May 10, but he pitched one inning of relief Monday against Kansas City and had one bullpen session before the team arrived here.
So with all the rest, what happened?
"The first two innings, he was real sharp," manager Ron Washington said. "Then all of a sudden he couldn't get the ball to his arm side, which means he had to come to the middle of the plate or inside, and he didn't get there and those right-handed hitters just turned him around. When the first two innings started, I thought he was on his way to having a pretty good game, it just didn't turn out that way. He got the ball up and got into some wrong spots and those right-handed hitters didn't miss it."
Holland (3-3) allowed five runs, all earned, on five hits and two walks. He struck out six while throwing 100 pitches. In the first three innings, Holland struck out three and only allowed two hits, an infield single by Jed Lowrie and a home run to the No. 8 hitter Chris Snyder.
It unraveled in the fourth when he walked Justin Maxwell to start things and gave up a home run to cleanup hitter Carlos Lee to cut a 4-1 deficit to one. In the fifth, he gave up a two-out single to Jose Altuve and Maxwell hit what Washington called a "bomb" to left that gave the Astros a 5-4 lead.
Washington said his young starter has to finish the deal when given a lead.
"It's obvious I was supposed to put that away," Holland said. "But I couldn't get my fastball down and a couple of pitches got away and they hit them."
Holland said he didn't really know what was going on with his lack of command after the second inning.
"To be honest, I couldn't really tell you exactly what it was," he said. "I just know my fastball command went erratic all of a sudden. I couldn't locate down, everything was up. Just fell behind a lot so it made it predictable what to sit on, too."
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