ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers starter Derek Holland wasn't at his best Monday. He gave up five runs on six hits, and twice his team got him the lead and he couldn't hold it. But Holland lasted longer than Tampa Bay Rays ace David Price and ended up with a win, despite some problems.
"He was the last man standing," Rangers manager Ron Washington said.
But when that sixth run crossed the plate in the bottom of the fifth, Holland came back out for the sixth and needed to get the bottom of the Rays order to keep it a one-run advantage. He got left-handed hitting Sam Fuld to ground out to first, Jose Molina to ground out to third and switch-hitter Elliot Johnson to fly out to right.
That allowed Washington to go straight to Alexi Ogando for the seventh and line up his bullpen exactly how he wanted it for the rest of the game.
"One thing I'm disappointed with is my job is to shut down the opponent, and earlier in the game I didn't do a great job of it. But as the game progressed I thought I did a much better job of it," Holland said.
Holland, who matched Detroit ace Justin Verlander in a start earlier this month in Arlington, said his goal was to just keep his team in the game.
"I don't feel like I had my best stuff, but I was battling," Holland said. "I didn't have my best fastball. Ovarall, I did a very good job of battling out there."