Published January 13, 2015
Derek Holland once again takes aim at his 10th win of the season on Tuesday when the Texas Rangers continue a three-game series with the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.
Holland 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.
However, he is winless in his last three starts since improving to 9-6 on Aug. 4. He did not get a decision on Wednesday against Houston, as he allowed two runs and four hits in six innings of his team's 5-4 win.
Holland stands a good chance at getting that elusive win on Tuesday, as he owns an 8-2 lifetime mark against the Mariners with a 3.08 ERA in 16 games (12 starts). He's also 3-0 with a 0.68 ERA in five games (three starts) at Safeco Field.
"It's a nice ballpark, no doubt," Holland said. "But I try to treat every ballpark the same. The weather is nice and the roof is closed, but you still have to keep the ball down. Even though it's a pitcher's park, the ball can still go out of here."
Texas put the brakes on a two-game losing streak in Monday's opener, as A.J. Pierzynski broke the game open with a three-run homer in the seventh inning to pace the Rangers to an 8-3 triumph.
Alex Rios had two hits with two RBI, Mitch Moreland knocked a solo homer and Elvis Andrus ended 3-for-5 with a run-scoring single for the Rangers, who bounced back from their first slide in over a month.
Travis Blackley (2-1) went six full innings, yielding three runs on five hits and a walk with four strikeouts. Neal Cotts, Joakim Soria and Tanner Scheppers each tossed a hitless inning of relief.
"Blackley did a great job. He has an idea what he's doing when he gets out there. He got us deep into the game," Rangers manager Ron Washington said.
Joe Saunders (10-13) was tagged for seven runs on nine hits and three walks over seven frames in the loss, while Kyle Seager hit his 20th home run of the season and Brad Miller knocked in a pair in Seattle's fourth straight defeat.
"Collectively we've got to get it together," said Seattle manager Eric Wedge. "We have to get over the hump here and get back on track."
Trying to get Seattle back into the win column on Tuesday will be righty Hisashi Iwakuma, who has won his last two starts. Iwakuma beat the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday, as he held them to three runs and seven hits in seven innings to run his record to 12-6 to go along with a 2.98 ERA.
Iwakuma has faced Texas eight times (7 starts) and is 3-3 with a 3.75 ERA. He beat Holland and the Rangers two starts ago, holding them to a run in seven innings.
Texas is 10-7 against the Mariners this season.