Derek Holland a big key to second half

SEATTLE -- Texas Rangers veteran Michael Young knows his baseball history. And historically speaking, making three consecutive World Series appearances isn't easy, no matter how good a team is.

That feat has happened only once in the past 34 years. The Yankees went to four consecutive World Series from 1998 through 2001.

"I know how difficult it is to get to that final level,'' Young said Friday. "One play here and one pitch there and any series can shift very easily. We don't take it for granted, and that's why we won't even think about it in July."

Well, think about this. That quest looks a little brighter with Derek Holland having his best outing of the season Friday night in a 3-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners.

In his second start since returning from the DL, Holland allowed only four singles in 7 2/3 scoreless innings.

"Overall he did an extremely good job," said Rangers manager Ron Washington. "He had a good changeup working tonight, which is something he hasn't had in a while. We believe in him. We hope he continues to progress."

It was impressive, but it was against the anemic Mariners. They made a run at closer Joe Nathan in the ninth thanks to a Young error and a wild pitch, but Seattle's batting order is pathetic -- and that's being kind.

The Rangers will need Holland, along with a few other pitchers who will come off the DL soon, if they hope to make that rare third consecutive trip to the World Series.

Read more here.