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Sunday, June 17, 2012
Buzz: Holland has catch with dad

By Randy Jennings

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rick Holland said he couldn’t think of a better Father’s Day present.

Three hours before today’s concluding game of the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros three-game series, Holland, 55, and his son, Rangers’ pitcher Derek Holland, played a game of catch on the outfield grass at Rangers Ballpark.

“It doesn’t get any better,’’ the elder Holland said. “I guess this is the first time I’ve played catch with him since he was in high school back in 2005. It’s hard to believe I’m here in the clubhouse with all these great players. It’s just crazy.’’

Dad also got a stint in the batting cage. “I can’t tell you the last time I swung a bat,’’ he said.

Derek Holland, currently on the 15-day disabled list with left shoulder fatigue, seemed to enjoy it almost as much as his father, an electrician back home in Ohio: “It was great to be able to do it again. It was awesome.’’

Other notes:

* Rangers manager Ron Washington said it might be Tuesday before a decision is made on the starting pitcher for Friday’s opener of a three-game home series against the Colorado Rockies. Justin Grimm is a consideration, Washington said, following his successful major league debut in Saturday’s 8-3 win over Houston.

* Saturday’s win wrapped up the Silver Boot trophy for the sixth straight year. The trophy is awarded annually to the winner of the Lone Star Series. The Rangers have won eight of the last nine Lone Star Series and nine of 12 overall. “I’m glad we were able to do our part,’’ Washington said. “I just care about winning ball games. If the boot is included, great.’’ Texas has won four of five meetings with the Astros this season.

*The last two World Series were a bit of a problem, but the Rangers are faring well against National League teams in 2012. Including today’s game against Houston, the Rangers have seven interleague games remaining. Only the Yankees (9-2) own a better interleague record than the Rangers (8-3). The reason is pitching. Against National League teams, the Rangers have a 2.51 ERA.

*The Rangers scored five runs in a span of two pitches in Saturday’s 8-3 win over Houston, only the third time this season a team has scored the maximum of five runs on two consecutive pitches. It’s the second time this season Houston has been on the receiving end.

*Elvis Andrus’ sacrifice bunt in the sixth inning helped open the door to a five-run frame, a major-league leading 14th time the Rangers have scored five or more runs in an inning.

Washington said that he gave Andrus “one shot’’ to swing away before putting on the bunt.

* Brandon Snyder starts in right field for the Rangers and Nelson Cruz is in left for the first time this season as a starter. “In left field, the ball slices more and Snyder is more comfortable in right,’’ said Washington. “Cruz has no problem either way.’’ Snyder has one prior start in left and right.

* The Rangers are playing their 20th day game of the season today. Texas owns a 12-7 record in day games compared to 27-20 under the lights. The Rangers success in the day comes despite a lower batting average (.265-.287) and a higher ERA (3.79-3.57) in the daylight.

* Up next: The Rangers fly to the West Coast for a brief three-game series with the San Diego Padres. Entering this afternoon’s road game against the Oakland Athletics, the Padres are 20 games below .500 (23-43) and have lost two straight following a three-game sweep of the Seattle Mariners earlier in the week.