Holland strikes out four in rehab start

ARLNGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers left-hander Derek Holland is moving closer to a return to the majors following microfracture surgery on his left knee after he pitched two innings for Double-A Frisco against Midland on Wednesday night.

Holland did not give up a run, struck out four and walked two in the 33-pitch outing.

It was Holland's first appearance in a game since Sept. 28, 2013 when he earned a victory over the Los Angeles Angles. Holland finished the 2013 season on a two-game win streak and had a 10-9 mark with a 3.42 ERA overall.

He was projected as the No. 2 starter behind Yu Darvish coming into the 2014 season. But Holland suffered a freak accident in his home when he tripped over his dog on the stairs, which caused the injury.

Holland has done numerous bullpen sessions after the surgery yet his inability to field his position smoothly has given the Rangers pause from putting him in a live game.

Holland, who will wear a knee brace, is hopeful for a return to the Rangers' rotation in the last two months of the season.

The next rehab appearance for Holland hasn't been determined.

Update: Holland, who said his knee felt "great" could pitch again on Monday. Frisco is off that day but Triple-A Round Rock has a double-header Monday.

"I think it was just trying to get out there and get into the swing of things," Holland said. "Very excited a lot of adrenalin flowing but the main thing is I want to execute my pitches. I felt like overall, a couple of bad walks but for the most part, I'm feeling really good about being out there."