One day after the Rangers added a former All-Star to their pitching staff, Texas turns to one of its hottest arms this month in Derek Holland as it tries for a series victory in the rubber match of a three-game series with the Seattle Mariners.
Holland's season numbers aren't that impressive as he is 4-3 with a 4.05 earned run average in 10 games (9) starts this season. However, the left- hander has put together a 2-1 record and 2.81 ERA in four starts in May with three quality starts.
Holland bounced back from a loss in Houston to beat the visiting Blue Jays on Friday. He allowed two runs on five hits and a walk in 7 1/3 innings, matching his longest outing of the year while striking out a season-best nine batters.
The 25-year-old beat the Mariners on April 12 with a similar outing, giving up two runs over 7 1/3 frames while striking out eight. He is 5-1 with a 3.00 ERA in seven career starts against Seattle.
Holland will look to shut down the Mariners tonight after they exploded for six runs in the eighth inning of Tuesday's 10-3 win. John Jaso drove in three runs, while Ichiro Suzuki, Mike Carp and Dustin Ackley added an RBI apiece as the Mariners snapped a five-game losing streak.
"I felt like our at-bats were as good tonight throughout the game as they've been all year long," manager Eric Wedge said on Seattle's official website. "Not just with that eighth inning, but all the at-bats prior to that. I felt really good about our approach up and down the lineup. That's what we're talking about. I was really pleased with our offense tonight."
Jason Vargas allowed five hits and three runs over 6 2/3 innings to earn the win.
Scott Feldman, meanwhile, allowed four runs -- two earned -- on four hits and three walks over 4 2/3 innings on the same day that the Rangers signed Roy Oswalt to a minor league deal, pending the passing of a physical. He is slated to pitch for Triple-A Round Rock on Saturday.
Rangers president Nolan Ryan knows Oswalt and said the veteran pitcher has a good relationship with the team already.
"I think he knows some of our players, so I think he's familiar with us and he's pitched here," said Ryan. "I think there were a lot of things ... We're in close proximity to his home. I think all those things came into play and probably the fact that we're in the pennant race."
Josh Hamilton hit a two-run shot and knocked in all three runs for the Rangers, who had won four in a row.
Hamilton, who made the start despite an illness, is 1-for-9 in his career against scheduled Seattle starter Blake Beavan, a former first-round draft pick by the Rangers in 2007.
Beavan was sent to Seattle as part of a July 9, 2010 deal that landed Cliff Lee in Texas. Beavan is 1-2 with a 1.71 ERA in three starts against his former club, including a tough-luck 1-0 loss to them in Texas on April 10. The righty allowed a run on six hits over 6 1/3 innings.
The 23-year-old has allowed more than three earned runs in just one of his nine starts this season and matched a season high with seven innings pitched on Friday versus the Angels. He gave up three runs -- all on an Albert Pujols home run -- and left with a 4-3 lead, but ended up with a no-decision in his club's 6-4 setback.
Beavan is 2-4 with a 4.38 ERA this season.
The Rangers have won 16 of their past 22 versus the Mariners, including five of nine encounters this season. Seattle has dropped 13 of its past 16 in Texas.