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Game thoughts: Holland, HRs lead Rangers

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers crushed the A's, 10-1, to even the series Wednesday. The margin of victory ended a streak of 15 consecutive games decided by three or fewer runs. Derek Holland and homers were the story. Some quick game thoughts below (Click here for a replay of Wednesday's in-game chat):

* What a night for Derek Holland. He made sure his first start of 2010 was a memorable one, going six scoreless innings. He showed excellent fastball command and relied on that for most of his outing, mixing in some changeups and sliders when he needed them. Holland stayed calm throughout his start, even with runners on base. He attacked hitters and was aggressive. He did get some of his breaking stuff over, but that fastball command was the difference.

* Holland had seven strikeouts and one walk. He allowed just two Oakland baserunners to get into scoring position (on doubles in the third and fourth) and got out of those jams fine. He threw 103 pitches, 68 for strikes. It was a quality start in every sense of the term.

* One other note that I think is worth mentioning: Holland also seemed more fired up than usual. He let out a huge fist pump when he struck out Jake Fox to get out of a jam in the fourth. It was good to see Holland really get into the game like that.

* Holland got run support in the form of some long balls. The Rangers hit five home runs in a three-inning span, including back-to-back homers from Josh Hamilton and Vladimir Guerrero. Max Ramirez, Michael Young and Justin Smoak also added homers.

* Ian Kinsler ran the bases very well -- and aggressively -- in the fourth inning. He hit an RBI double in the fourth off Gio Gonzalez and then tagged up on a Justin Smoak fly ball to center to go to third. Because of that, Kinsler was at third with two outs and caused havoc when he faked as if to steal home. Gonzalez panicked and threw wild to home, allowing Kinsler to score. It was scored an error because Gonzalez stepped off the rubber and didn't technically throw a pitch. Kinsler made it happen by confusing Gonzalez. That made it 2-0 in the fourth.

* Hamilton hit his second two-run homer in this series. This one was 427 feet. He did it against the lefty Gonzalez. Hamilton was 7-for-37 (.189) against lefties before that homer. He's getting more and more comfortable at the plate, and you can see it in his approach. The homer came on a 3-2 count.

* Guerrero hit his seventh on the season and it was right after Hamilton's homer (though against a different pitcher). It's the third time the Rangers have hit back-to-back homers this season, the second time this homestand (Guerrero and Hamilton did it Thursday vs. Kansas City).

* Holland showed off his pickoff move, getting Rajai Davis in the third for the second out of the inning. Holland has been working on a pickoff move, and it showed. That turned a runners on the corner, one-out situation into a runner at third with two outs. Holland ended up walking Cliff Pennington but got Adam Rosales to fly out to end the inning.

* Elvis Andrus doubled to start the game but had baserunning issues. He was straying off the bag at second and broke too soon. The A's caught him with Young at the plate in a run-scoring situation. Andrus has a team-high 14 steals (tied for second in the AL), but he has also been caught stealing six times, which leads the league. Young doubled after Andrus was caught and was stranded.

* Craig Gentry was scratched from the lineup with an upset stomach, so Hamilton moved to center and David Murphy was inserted in left field.

* Ramirez had a three-hit night as the catcher after Matt Treanor caught all of the 13-inning affair Tuesday. Ramirez looked very good at home plate. Maybe that will get him going.

* The large lead allowed Ron Washington to get some players a break in the eighth inning, including Young, who to that point had played every inning of every game. Andres Blanco played third for the tirst time.

* The bullpen got a break, for the most part. Only Darren O'Day (one inning) and Doug Mathis (two) were used.