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Rangers' Holland efficiently shuts out Yankees

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- Ron Washington did not have to say much to Derek Holland. In fact, the only time Washington said anything to his left-hander, he actually forgot his name.

It was a stress-free day for Washington and the Rangers as Holland pitched a two-hitter on just 92 pitches in a 2-0 victory over the New York Yankees on Thursday afternoon at Yankee Stadium

"I don't even know, to be honest with you," Holland said. "I joked around, 'You already forgot my name. We're not even in the sixth inning.' He was in the zone too. No biggie. It was funny (and) we had a good laugh about it."

Washington said, "I didn't have to do anything. Just one time he came in (the dugout), I forgot his name. I don't know what I called him, but I didn't call him Derek."

By then, Holland (6-4) was on cruise control. Armed with a 2-0 lead on rookie Jurickson Profar's solo home run in the fifth off Phil Hughes (3-7), he easily finished off his sixth career complete game and first since a four-hitter on July 30, 2011, at Toronto.

"He certainly did (run with it)," Washington said. "The key was the fifth, sixth and seventh inning. It was key right there."

Holland struck out seven, walked two and capped a stretch a seven wins in eight games by becoming the first Ranger to toss a complete game in New York since Kevin Brown fired a six-hitter at Original Yankee Stadium on April 17, 1993.

"His velocity was up," said New York's Vernon Wells, who struck out three times. "His slider was really good today. It's probably the best I've seen his slider. He stayed away from barrels and he stayed away from over the plate. You do that with that kind of stuff, you're going to have the kind of results he had today."

Holland's best performance of his career also put him special company, making him the second pitcher to pitch a two-hit shutout at Yankee Stadium since 2005. Felix Hernandez was the other, having achieved it twice.

Perhaps even more impressive was that he was the first opposing pitcher to throw a complete-game shutout on 92 pitches at Yankee Stadium since Greg Maddux in 1997. Holland also was the first pitcher in franchise history to toss a shutout on two hits or fewer against the Yankees since Joe Coleman did it with the Washington Senators on July 19, 1969.

Holland allowed a leadoff single to Ichiro and a two-out single to Austin Romine in the third. The only other runners were Jayson Nix, who led off the fourth with a walk and Robinson Cano, who did the same in the seventh.

Holland also beat the Yankees for the first time in nine career appearances. He had been 0-5 with an 8.85 ERA against the Yankees, and even beating a diminished version of the team because of injuries was significant for him.

"I haven't had great success here and my main thing was to make sure I can go out and change something," Holland said. "It's a new year. It's still a great ballclub. You can't take anything away from the Yankees, they're the Yankees for a reason, but overall our defense was great."

Holland's primary goals were to live on the outer third of the plate, get ahead and give the bullpen a rest. He achieved all three, getting first pitch strikes on 25 of 29 hitters.

"I can tell these guys have been pushed around a little bit and I wanted to give them everything I could to give them as much rest as possible."

Washington said, "We certainly needed to give our bullpen a break and he went out there and did just that. He had everything working today."

The closest he came to allowing a run was when New York rookies David Adams and Zoilo Almonte hit fly balls to the warning track in right and left field in the fifth and seventh.

Profar accounted for both runs for Texas, which has won seven of eight.

Profar drew a walk from Hughes in the third and scored on a sacrifice fly by Ian Kinsler. After seeing nine pitches in his first plate appearance, Profar drove a 1-1 changeup over the right field wall leading off the fifth.

Hughes lost his third consecutive start, allowing two runs and five hits. He also was on the losing end of a Yankee shutout for the second straight start.

The Yankees were handed their 10th loss in 15 games while getting blanked for the seventh time and equaling their season low for hits.

"You don't score runs; that becomes an issue, but I believe we're capable of scoring runs," New York manager Joe Girardi said. "I think we can (score with the current roster), but time will tell."

NOTES: Both New York tabloids had differing reports on the latest turn in the Alex Rodriguez saga. The New York Post reported that Rodriguez has told the Yankees he isn't ready to start rehab games. The New York Daily News reported that he is ready to start rehab games with the idea that he would claim to be physically unable to play. That scenario would allow him to avoid a 100-game suspension for PED use and he get the remaining money on his contract, which has 4 1/2 seasons remaining. "A couple of conflicting reports from sources," Girardi said. "That's why I always say for me, when a player gets here, he gets here. When he's ready, he's ready. But everything that I understand, he's been making progress and moved better day after day. So it sounds like things are pretty good." ... Yankees SS Derek Jeter ran outside for the first time since reinjuring his ankle two months ago.... Profar made his second career start at third base. ... Seth Jones, who is expected to be the top pick in Sunday's NHL draft, attended the game along with two other prospects. Jones is the son of former NBA forward Popeye Jones. ... The Rangers have not scored a first-inning run in their last 19 games, the club's longest drought since 2004.
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