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Friday, April 22, 2011
Matchup: Derek Holland-Jeff Francis

By Richard Durrett

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers start a three-game series against the surprising Kansas City Royals tonight with LHP Derek Holland up against LHP Jeff Francis. Here's a quick look at the matchup:

Holland (2-1, 3.66 ERA): His last start came at Yankee Stadium, when he gave up five runs on eight hits in 7 2/3 innings and threw 118 pitches, matching his career high. ...The 24-year-old Holland kept his team in the game went deep into the game before giving up a pivotal two-run homer to Robinson Cano in the eighth that turned a one-run deficit into three. ...Holland is pitching with an extra day of rest, something he's had for every start so far this season. ...Holland has one start at home, a win on April 4 against Seattle after allowing three runs in six innings. ...He's 0-1 with a 7.94 ERA in two appearances (one start) against the Royals in his career. ...His only start against Kansas City was July 25, 2009 at Kauffman Stadium, a loss after giving up four runs on 4 2/3 innings.

Francis (0-1, 3.00 ERA): The 30-year-old has four consecutive quality starts to begin the 2011 season, including his last effort against Seattle. ...Francis gave up three runs on six hits in 6 1/3 innings, but took the loss. ...He has 14 strikeouts and three walks in 27 innings pitched. ...Francis, a 6-foot-5 hurler from Vancouver, has recorded three no-decisions and his team is 1-3 in his starts. ...Francis is 0-1 with 7.94 ERA (oddly, the same as Holland) in 5 2/3 innings in his career against Texas.

Hitters: Yorvit Torrealba and Mike Napoli are the only two Rangers' hitter who have faced Francis more than three times and Torrealba is 2-for-6 with a homer and Napoli is 2-for-5. Adrian Beltre (1-for-2), Michael Young (1-for-3) and Ian Kinsler (1-for-2). ...No Kansas City hitter has more than three at-bats against Holland. Billy Butler is 1-for-2 and that one hit is a homer. ...BTW, this has absolutely nothing to do with this particular game, but Brett Tomko is 0-for-6 off Francis in his career as a hitter.