SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Pitcher Derek Holland went into Sunday's start looking to work on a little bit of everything, but especially his consistency. He was able to string together three impressive innings in his second Cactus League start.
“Holland came out and pounded the zone today,” manager Ron Washington said. “He used all of his pitches, moved it around and did a great job.”
Holland picked up two of his four strikeouts in the second inning. Outfielder Shelly Duncan was called out on strikes to lead off the inning, and first baseman Russ Canzier struck out to close the second.
After Holland finished his 40-pitch outing, he went to the bullpen to put in more work.
“I could’ve gone out for the fourth, but other people need to get their work in, as well," Holland said. “The main thing is I went in and did what I had to do.”
Holland improved on his first March 5 outing against the Kansas City Royals in which he allowed a run on three hits. In the two innings he pitched, Holland got just one strikeout.
“Every time he takes the ball, he gets a little better,” Washington said.
Cruz it by pitch: Nelson Cruz was hit in his hand by pitcher Corey Kluber in the fifth inning. Kyle Hudson pinch ran for Cruz and replaced him in right field. Cruz said he was scheduled to come out after the at-bat anyway and should be fine.
“I think I just have a bruise,” Cruz said. “Just get some ice and good to go.”
Before he left, Cruz got a chance to show off his arm in the third inning. With a man on third and two outs, Cruz fielded a fly ball from Jason Donald and launched the ball to catcher Luis Martinez. The runner didn’t advance and Holland struck out designated hitter Shin-Soo Choo on the next at-bat to get out of the inning.
Moreland stays hot: Mitch Moreland went 2-for-2, making him a combined 5-for-5 in Sunday’s A and B game. He also got an RBI in the second inning.
Martinez steps up: Luis Martinez got the start at catcher and went 2-for-3 with an RBI double to right field in the fourth inning.
Hawpe pleased: Brad Hawpe said it was great to get on the field for Sunday’s B game, his first game as a Ranger. He was 0-for-2 with a walk, but Hawpe felt it was a productive day. He was excited to get his feet wet after being sidelined with a right hamstring injury.
Kinsler out: Washington did not think Ian Kinsler’s injury is serious. Kinsler missed Sunday’s game due to stiffness in his lower back. When asked if he’d be ready to go Monday, Kinsler said, “We’ll see.”