ARLINGTON, Tex. -- This had all of the earmarks of a Texas disaster.
Starter Derek Holland fought his command from the start, laboring through a 29-pitch first inning. He was lucky to hold Tampa Bay to one run.
Then he surrendered a two-run home run to Matt Joyce in the fourth, and it got real quiet real fast at The Ballpark in Arlington.
Then, what raw rookie Matt Moore did for Tampa Bay on Friday became even more impressive: Texas hammered James Shields for five runs in the fourth and never looked back, pounding its way to an 8-6 win. And in evening this Division Series at 1-1, the Rangers served notice of why they're so lethal.
Did Moore really shut out this crew for seven innings in Game 1?
Did anybody really think the Rangers were going to stay silent in this thing?
The Rangers love Holland, and with good reason. Just 24, he mixes a low-90s fastball with a curve that dips into the low 70s and a slider somewhere in-between, Holland finished the regular season by going 10-1 with a 2.77 ERA in his final 15 starts beginning July 7.
What Holland did Saturday on a day on which he wasn't sharp was keep the Rangers close.
Then the Texas lineup did the rest, from Mike Napoli's two-run, game-tying single in the fourth to Ian Kinsler's two-run double in the sixth to Mitch Moreland's exclamation point of a home run in the eighth.
By the end, believe it or not, Texas had won its first home game in Division Series history. Before Saturday, the Rangers were 0-7. They were 0-1 in this series.