The left-hander hopes facing Seattle will help him bounce back Wednesday night as the AL West-leading Rangers look to beat the visiting Mariners for a seventh consecutive time.
Holland (10-4, 4.35 ERA) went 4-0 with a 1.64 ERA and three shutouts in his final five July starts, and did not allow an earned run in 15 innings to win his final two. However, he was roughed up for six runs - four earned - in 1 2-3 innings Friday, although the Rangers rallied to beat Cleveland 8-7 in 11.
Looking to put that performance behind him, Holland will seek to improve upon his 2-0 record and 1.80 ERA versus the Mariners this season. He tossed a five-hitter and struck out eight in a 5-0 win at Seattle on July 14, his first start after the All-Star break.
“He’s aggressive, strong and (has) real good command,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge told the team’s official website.
Scheduled Seattle starter Jason Vargas(notes) (6-10, 4.02) allowed five runs, including homers to Josh Hamilton(notes), Mike Napoli(notes) and Nelson Cruz(notes), and nine other hits in six innings of that contest, merely one outing during what’s become an extended slump.
The left-hander is 0-5 with a 5.57 ERA in six starts since beating San Diego on July 1. Vargas pitched better Friday, though, scattering seven hits in six innings of a 1-0, 10-inning loss to former college teammate Jered Weaver(notes) and the Los Angeles Angels.
“It’s a positive,” Vargas said. “I need to just keep building on that, and keep going out there and grinding.”
He’ll try to help the Mariners (49-66) avoid being swept by the Rangers, who came back from a three-run deficit by scoring four times in the final three innings Tuesday to win 7-6.
Hamilton drove home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth and Endy Chavez(notes) homered and drove in two runs to help Texas (66-51) improve to 10-2 versus Seattle this season. The Rangers have overcome deficits of three or more runs in three of the first five games of their current homestand.
“We just have a lot of confidence in ourselves and our teammates,” said second baseman Ian Kinsler(notes), who had a two-run homer. “We know we have guys up and down the lineup that are capable of getting something started or finishing something off. When you have that feeling it’s very easy to stay calm. It just relaxes everyone.”
Hamilton is batting .344 in his last 15 games. Chavez, who had three hits Tuesday, is 7 for 13 with three RBIs in four games against the Mariners in 2011.