Holland gets nod for Texas in opener with Royals

Derek Holland should be happy that May has 31 days in it.

The Texas hurler looks to close out the month perfect on Friday night when the Rangers play host to the Kansas City Royals in the opener of a three-game set.

The Rangers have won all of Holland's five starts this month and Holland himself is 3-0 with a 2.53 earned run average in May, giving up one earned run in the three victories and eight runs in the two no-decisions.

The left-hander is coming off a 5-2 win at Seattle on Saturday, striking out a season-high 10 batters over 6 2/3 innings. Both runs he allowed were unearned thanks to a third-inning error by shortstop Elvis Andrus.

Holland is 4-2 with a 2.97 ERA in 10 starts this season, with Texas 8-2 in those outings, and the 26-year-old is 1-1 with a 5.53 ERA in six career meetings with the Royals, including four starts.

The Rangers snapped a season-high three-game slide with Thursday's 9-5 win over Arizona. They had been swept in a doubleheader by the Diamondbacks in the desert on Monday and had Wednesday's contest in Texas postponed due to unplayable field conditions caused by rain after having off on Tuesday.

However, Mitch Moreland and David Murphy didn't show any rust, hitting home runs to help Texas build a 9-0 edge by the fifth inning.

While the Rangers pounded out 15 hits in their win, the Royals managed to snap an eight-game slide with Thursday's 4-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals despite managing just four hits in the game. It was the first game for George Brett as Kansas City's interim hitting coach, a position he took over earlier in the day.

The Royals rallied for three runs in the ninth inning to win, getting a game- tying solo homer by Jeff Francoeur and later a two-run double off the bat of Eric Hosmer.

Kansas City then loaded the bases following an intentional walk to Chris Getz right before rain hit and caused a 4 1/2-hour rain delay. Umpires decided to wait out the rain, rather than call the game, which would have given St. Louis a 2-1 victory as the score would have reverted to the last full inning played.

"We had to fight hard to keep it, and (umpire) Joe West did a great job of giving us an opportunity," said Royals manager Ned Yost. "Because that wouldn't be fair for us to come back and just lose because it started raining. Joe hung in there and said, 'I'll stay here as long as we've got a chance.' I mean it was 3 o'clock (CT) when we went back out there. I don't know how many umpires would've done that."

The Royals did not score again after the delay, but Greg Holland retired the Cardinals in order in the bottom of the ninth to earn his eighth save of the season.

Wade Davis aims to end his struggles tonight for the Royals, having gone 1-4 with a 7.25 ERA in seven starts since throwing 12 scoreless innings over consecutive wins on April 10 and 17.

The 27-year-old righty lost to the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday, getting charged with three runs on six hits and two walks over 6 1/3 innings. It did mark his second-longest start of the season.

Davis is 3-4 with a 5.71 ERA in 10 starts this season and lifetime versus the Rangers has allowed 15 runs over 10 innings in five games (2 starts). That gives him a career 13.50 ERA against them with a 1-2 record.

The Rangers won five of nine against the Royals last season, but did lose the only two encounters in Texas.