Derek Holland takes his sixth crack at win No. 10 on Saturday when the Texas Rangers continue a three-game series with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium.
Holland, who is trying to become the first pitcher to record double-digit wins for the Rangers in three consecutive seasons since Rick Helling did so from 1998-2001, was banged around a bit in a loss to Oakland on Monday, as he allowed four runs (3 earned) and walked five batters in just 4 2/3 innings. He is 9-7 on the year with a 3.07 ERA.
"It was just a terrible performance ... flat out," said Holland, who is 1-3 with a 3.05 ERA in nine starts since the All-Star break. "Five walks is not acceptable. There's no reason for that. I didn't execute my pitches. I fell behind and walked people. You can't defend walks. It was all-around terrible. Today was on me."
Holland has made 16 starts and three relief appearances against the Angels and is 7-5 with a 5.61 ERA.
Los Angeles, meanwhile, will counter with right-hander Garrett Richards, who is 5-6 with a 4.06 ERA. Richards beat the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday, but like Holland, struggled with his command, as he walked seven batters in five innings. He only allowed a run and two hits and lowered his ERA to 3.21 since rejoining the rotation on July 27.
"You can give Garrett an A for effort, he hung in there," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Never really got command of counts. His ball-strike ratio was very poor and his first-pitch-strike ratio was bad. Couldn't really get his secondary pitches into the game, but when it's all said and done, it's a win for us."
Texas fell out of first place in the American League West on Friday, as Mark Trumbo's three-run homer capped a five-run fourth and sent the Angels in front for good, lifting them to a 6-5 victory.
Ernesto Frieri gave up a run in the ninth, but was able to keep the lead intact and recorded his 31st save of the season, preserving the win for C.J. Wilson.
Wilson (15-6) won his sixth straight decision despite allowing four runs on seven hits and three walks over 6 2/3 innings. Mike Trout had three hits with an RBI and Erick Aybar scored twice for the Angels, who have won seven of their last nine.
Texas, meanwhile, has dropped five of seven and fell one-half game back of the Oakland A's in the division.
Matt Garza (3-3) was torched for six runs -- five earned -- on nine hits over seven innings of work. Elvis Andrus and Alex Rios both homered and drove in a pair of runs in the setback.
"I threw a lot of strikes and got ahead of most hitters, I made one bad pitch," said Garza. "I left one over the plate and Trumbo knew what to do with it."
Texas had won seven in a row from the Angels before Friday's loss and is still 10-3 this season against the Halos.