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Matchup: Derek Holland vs. Wade Davis

5/31/2013

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers begin a three-game weekend series against Kansas City with left-hander Derek Holland facing Royals right-hander Wade Davis at 7:05 p.m. Friday night on Ch. 21, ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and ESPN Deportes Dallas 1540 AM.

Holland (4-2, 2.97): Holland has given the Rangers exactly what they needed from their No. 2 starter two months into the season. ... He had 10 strikeouts Saturday night in Seattle in a 5-2 victory. ... Holland pitched into the seventh inning, allowing two unearned runs while matching a career high with 119 pitches. ... The 10 Ks gave him his fourth double-digit strikeout game. ... Holland ranks among American League leaders with his 2.97 ERA (11th), 64 strikeouts (tied for 11th) and .54 home runs allowed per nine innings (fifth). ... Holland's improved command has helped him get his home run total down to four in 66 1/3 innings after allowing 32 last season. ... Holland hasn't allowed a home run to a left-handed hitter in a year. ... He has worked seven-plus innings and allowed two or fewer runs in half of his 10 starts. ... Holland is 1-1 with a 5.53 ERA for his career against Kansas City. ... He has allowed four or more runs in three of his four starts against the Royals.

Davis (3-4, 5.71): The Royals are trying to get Davis straightened out. ... He was a key piece in a seven-player deal with Tampa Bay in December that brought James Shields and Elliot Johnson to Kansas City. ... Davis appeared to have a breakthrough start going Sunday against the Angels, taking a shutout into the seventh inning. ... But Josh Hamilton had a home run to start the inning and two walks led to two more runs as the Angels rallied for a 5-2 win. ... Davis allowed six hits and had six strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. ... His last win was May 15 against the Angels in Anaheim, when he allowed four runs in 5 1/3 innings. ... Davis has struggled against the Rangers in the regular season with a 13.50 ERA in 10 innings. ... He allowed eight runs in 3 1/2 innings in a start June 4, 2010 in Arlington. ... He did keep the Rangers scoreless in three relief appearances (four innings) last season.

Hitters: Billy Butler (4-for-11, 1 HR, 3 RBIs) and Alex Gordon (4-for-8) are just two of several Royals hitters batting over .300 against Holland. ... Adrian Beltre (4-for-8, 2 RBIs) and Elvis Andrus ( 3-for-7, RBI) have had success against Davis.