ARLINGTON, Texas -- The final game of the Texas Rangers’ three-game series against AL West foe Seattle matches a pair of left-handers, Derek Holland against the Mariners’ Jason Vargas. First pitch is at 7:05 tonight at Rangers Ballpark. Here’s a look at the matchup:
Holland (10-4, 4.35 ERA): When the 24-year-old Ohioan has been good, he’s been very good, as four complete-game shutouts this season (three in his last six starts) would indicate. ... But in his last start, Holland failed to make it out of the second inning, allowing Cleveland six runs (four earned) on five hits in a game the Rangers eventually won in 11 innings, 8-7. ... Holland will be making his 24th start this season and has won his last four decisions since a home loss to the Marlins on July 2 when he failed to get out of the first inning. ... Holland had an excellent July, going 4-1 with a 2.77 ERA. ... He’s pitched well vs. Seattle in two previous starts, going 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA in 15 innings including a complete-game shutout at Safeco Field. ... At Rangers Ballpark this season, Holland is 5-2 but with a 5.55 ERA. ... Left-handed hitters are batting only .214 against Holland and he’s been tough to run on, allowing only seven steals in 13 tries. ... After the bullpen’s extensive work Tuesday, the Rangers need Holland to eat some innings tonight.
Vargas (6-10, 4.02 ERA): It has been a rocky five weeks for the 28-year-old native Californian. ... He will take a five-game losing streak into his 24th start of the season. ... Vargas in his most recent start worked six shutout innings against the Angels but left with no decision in a 1-0 Mariners’ loss in 10 innings on Friday. ... He allowed seven hits, one walk and struck out three and threw 111 pitches. ... Oddly, left-handed hitters are batting 17 points higher (.272) than right-handed hitters off Vargas this season. ... In two starts against the Rangers this season (both at Safeco Field), Vargas is 1-1 with a 3.95 ERA. ... He has just one road victory this season and in his career at Rangers Ballpark is 0-2 with a 4.74 ERA in four starts. ... He’s allowed five home runs in Arlington in 24.2 innings.
Hitters: Rangers right-handed hitters have had success against Vargas. ... Michael Young (9-for-21), Yorvit Torrealba (4-for-8) and Mike Napoli (8-for-20) have hit well for average. ... Three of Nelson Cruz’s five hits off Vargas have been home runs. ... Ian Kinsler is 6-for-18. ... Josh Hamilton (.143) and David Murphy (hitless in eight at-bats against Vargas) have struggled. ... Adam Kennedy is 2-for-5 against Holland. ... Miguel Olivo is 3-for-9. ... Holland has yet to retire Casper Wells (2-for-2), but has done well against Ichiro Suzuki (4-for-19). ... None of the current Mariners have homered off Holland.