Derek Holland hopes to build off recent success

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Derek Holland is on a roll.

Since returning from a month-long stay on the disabled list July 7, three out of Holland's four games have been quality starts, including a 7 2/3 inning shutout against the Seattle Mariners on July 13. He has played his best ball in July by far, posting a 2-1 record and 3.86 ERA in four starts and 28 innings pitched.

Before going on the disabled list with shoulder fatigue and an intestinal illness that caused him to lose 15 pounds, Holland was 5-4 with a 5.10 ERA and some inconsistent play. Now Holland has gained all the weight back and is playing at a high level.

“I don’t think I’ve done too bad," Holland said. "I’ve had a couple games here and there that didn’t go as planned. But if I just continue doing what I’ve been doing, I’m going to be all right. I’m not going to worry too much about the old stuff. That’s in the past. It’s all about what happens tomorrow.”

Holland's only lackluster performance in July came in a 6-1 loss to the Los Angeles Angels. He pitched 6 2/3 innings and allowed six earned runs on nine hits (two home runs), one walk and no strikeouts. Coincidentally, the Angels are Holland's next opponent. In a matchup with their ace, Jered Weaver. Holland said he feels confident about the start.

“I feel like I’m all right," Holland said. "I’m just going to keep things the way they are, go out and make my pitches. I’m not going to put too much pressure on myself. I know what I need to do. I’ve already told myself that I need to step up and I’ve said it several times. I need to step up with the way things have happened with injuries and everything else.”

After dropping a 15-8 decision to the Angels on Monday night, Holland knows how important it would be for him to help the Rangers get a win against their AL West rivals.

“We know how big this series is," Holland said. "It’s our rival. We’ve just got to go out there and play Texas baseball.”