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Rangers' Holland quiets Jays with four-hit shutout

CBSSports.com wire reports
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TORONTO -- A feisty mound meeting with manager Ron Washington sure fired up Derek Holland.

Holland pitched a four-hitter to win his fourth straight decision, Mitch Moreland and Mike Napoli homered and the Texas Rangers beat the Toronto Blue Jays 3-0 on Saturday.

"You could tell from the get-go that Holland was on his game," Moreland said.

Holland (10-4) reached double digits in victories for the first time and improved to 4-0 with a 1.64 ERA since losing to Florida on July 2. The left-hander has pitched three shutouts in that span, blanking Oakland on July 7 and following that with a shutout of Seattle on July 14.

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"His stuff was great today," Napoli said. "When he started throwing in the bullpen I knew he had some good stuff and he brought it into the game. He had a good fastball and he mixed in some off-speed when he had to. The ball was moving all over the place."

Holland, who walked one and struck out five, leads the AL with four shutouts this season and is tied with Philadelphia left-hander Cliff Lee for the major league lead. He and catcher Napoli embraced in front of the mound following the final out. Holland threw just 95 pitches, including 69 strikes.

After Moreland homered off Blue Jays left-hander Brad Mills in the top of the second, Holland faced his only jam in the bottom half, issuing a two-out walk to Rajai Davis, then throwing the ball away on John McDonald's bunt to put runners at second and third. That's when Washington came to the mound to deliver a short, sharp message.

"I told him how important that inning was," Washington said. "We had just put two runs up there. He got two quick outs and then he walks a guy and didn't make a play that he should make. The last thing we need is for him to let those runs score. Then I left."

Washington didn't have to come back the rest of the day. Moreland struck out J.P. Arencibia looking to end the inning, starting a stretch of 12 consecutive outs. The Blue Jays didn't have another runner reach scoring position.

Holland didn't know what was going on when his manager first popped out of the dugout.

"I thought he was going to argue the call or something," he said. "I didn't think anything of it."

Once Washington's stern message had been received, however, Holland was ready to go.

"It fired me up," Holland said. "I know I'm better than that. I shouldn't have been making those two-out mistakes. Especially after the offense just gave us some run support, I'm supposed to go out there and shut them down. I wasn't doing a very good job that inning."

Washington said if Holland had allowed even one base runner in the ninth, he would have called closer Neftali Feliz in to finish. That wasn't necessary. Colby Rasmus grounded out, Jose Bautista struck out looking and Holland deflected Adam Lind's hard grounder to shortstop, where Omar Quintanilla made the final out.

"From previous seasons he's improved a large amount," Lind said of Holland. "You used to see fastballs and sliders but now he's locating his fastball to both sides of the plate with a slider and curveball."

Bautista had two of the four hits off Holland, the first of which was an opening-inning infield pop-up that got lost in the sun. The Blue Jays slugger also hit a two-out single to left in the sixth but Lind ended the inning by grounding to the mound. Arencibia reached on a one-out infield single in the eighth, but Aaron Hill followed by grounding into a double play.

Napoli singled to begin the second and Moreland followed with a line drive homer to right-center, his 13th. It was Moreland's first career homer off a left-hander.

Making his first start of the season, Mills (0-1) allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings, matching a career-high.

Napoli made it 3-0 with a solo shot to center in the eighth, his 15th.

Rangers infielder Ian Kinsler snapped an 0-for-20 slump with a leadoff single to left in the fifth. Kinsler had been held hitless in his previous four games.

Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar was ejected in the sixth for arguing a call at first base. Escobar jumped up and down in anger after he was called out on a groundball up the middle, arguing with umpire Marvin Hudson that Kinsler's throw had pulled Michael Young off the bag.

Hill replaced Escobar and played second base, with McDonald moving from second to shortstop.

Rasmus went 0 for 4 and is 0 for 12 with a walk in three games since being traded to Toronto on Wednesday.

Notes

  • Texas OF Nelson Cruz, who left Friday's game with a tight left quadriceps muscle, was held out of the starting lineup. SS Elvis Andrus also didn't start after tweaking his sore right knee Friday. OF Josh Hamilton was held out of the starting lineup but came on defensively in the ninth.
  • Lind started at DH and is expected to get the day off Sunday.
  • Mills started in place of LHP Jo-Jo Reyes, who was designated for assignment last week.
  • Holland is two shutouts shy of matching the club record for shutouts in a season shared by Hall of Famers Fergie Jenkins (1974) and Bert Blyleven (1976).
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Derek Holland soaks in his AL-leading fourth shutout of the season and fourth straight victory overall.  (Getty Images)
Derek Holland soaks in his AL-leading fourth shutout of the season and fourth straight victory overall. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Texas

M. Napoli
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
Texas

D. Holland
IP 9.0
H 4
ER 0
BB 1
K 5
 
Texas Rangers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ian Kinsler, 2B4010111 .243
Omar Quintanilla, SS4000022 .143
Michael Young, 1B4000021 .334
    Josh Hamilton, LF0000000 .303
Mike Napoli, C4221000 .285
Mitch Moreland, RF-1B3112020 .274
Yorvit Torrealba, DH4010010 .257
David Murphy, LF-RF3020100 .253
Chris Davis, 3B4010015 .250
Endy Chavez, CF4010001 .320
Totals3439329  
Batting
2B - Chris Davis (3, Mills)
HR - Mike Napoli (15, Litsch), Mitch Moreland (13, Mills)
RBI - Mike Napoli (37), Mitch Moreland 2 (33)
CS - David Murphy (6, 2nd base by Miller/Arencibia)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Holland-Quintanilla-Young
E - Derek Holland (2, Throwing)
Texas Rangers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Derek Holland (W,10-4) 9400150 4.14
Pitches-Strikes - Derek Holland 95-69
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Derek Holland 13-8
Batters Faced - Derek Holland 31
Toronto Blue Jays
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Yunel Escobar, SS3000000 .305
    Aaron Hill, 2B1000001 .231
Colby Rasmus, CF4000000 .237
Jose Bautista, 3B4020010 .325
Adam Lind, DH4000012 .279
Edwin Encarnacion, 1B3000000 .269
Eric Thames, RF3000000 .292
Rajai Davis, LF2000110 .237
John McDonald, 2B-SS3010000 .221
J.P. Arencibia, C3010022 .221
Totals3004015  
Fielding
DP - McDonald-Escobar-Encarnacion
Toronto Blue Jays
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Brad Mills (L,0-1) 7622251 2.57
Jesse Litsch 1111031 4.75
Trever Miller 0.2200010 3.86
Shawn Camp 0.1000000 5.20
IBB - Kinsler by Brad Mills
HBP - Moreland (by Brad Mills)
Pitches-Strikes - Brad Mills 117-73, Jesse Litsch 17-11, Trever Miller 18-11, Shawn Camp 1-1
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brad Mills 9-6
Batters Faced - Brad Mills 29, Jesse Litsch 4, Trever Miller 3, Shawn Camp 1
Game Information
Attendance - 22560
Game Time - 2:29
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Brian Runge, First Base - Marvin Hudson, Second Base - Tim McClelland, Third Base - Ted Barrett