The Texas Rangers have played one team that currently possesses a winning record this season, earning a recent three-game sweep against one of the best teams in baseball.
They've been pretty average against the rest.
The Rangers (20-13) have played mostly contests versus clubs that have gotten off to tough starts to the season, though they took all three matchups from MLB-best Boston over the weekend.
After that impressive series, Texas fell 9-2 in a makeup road game against the Chicago Cubs , who had lost four straight, before losing 6-3 in Tuesday's series opener to a Milwaukee team that had dropped five in a row.
Mitch Moreland , hitting .421 over his last five games, went 2 for 4 and homered for the Rangers, who have lost six of their last seven versus sub-.500 teams and gave up five first-inning runs Tuesday."We really shouldn't have been in that hole," manager Ron Washington said.
They'll look to get back on track with help from Holland (2-2, 2.74 ERA), who is coming off one of his better outings.
After giving up 10 runs over his previous two starts, Holland returned to form and struck out a season-best nine in eight innings of Friday's 7-0 win over Boston. It marked the fourth time in six starts he's given up two or fewer runs.
"Derek was at his best," Washington told the team's official website. "He has been pitching well; he just hasn't been getting the results. I thought he had already won three or four ballgames. Since spring training, he has been throwing the ball well, and it was another example of what he can do."
The left-hander has never faced the Brewers. He had lost his previous three interleague starts white posting a 10.03 ERA before throwing seven scoreless innings in a 4-2 win over the Cubs on April 16.
Ryan Braun went 1 for 2 with two walks and is hitting .429 during a nine-game hitting streak."After a rough five games, it was a good start," said Carlos Gomez , who is batting .449 with four homers during a career-best 13-game hitting streak after hitting a two-run double Tuesday. "It brought the energy back to the team."
Kyle Lohse hopes to feed off that energy when he takes the hill Wednesday looking to bounce back from a rough outing.
Lohse (1-3, 3.16) gave up three runs in 12 combined innings over his previous two starts before giving up four and 11 hits in five innings of Friday's 6-1 loss to St. Louis."It was really a battle for me all night," Lohse said "I felt good starting out but then it just kind of got away from me. I wasn't getting my off-speed pitches over enough."
The right-hander is 3-3 with a 7.16 ERA in nine career starts versus the Rangers, but he hasn't faced them since 2006. Lohse has seen some of Texas' lineup, though, as former Minnesota Twins batterymate A.J. Pierzynski is 2 for 10 against him.
|April 20, 2013||Nick Tepesch||Day-to-Day||Left game - right arm bruise|
|April 11, 2013||Justin Miller||60-Day DL||Recovery from right elbow surgery|
|April 07, 2013||Matt Harrison||15-Day DL||Inflamed nerve in lower back|
|April 07, 2013||Yu Darvish||Day-to-Day||Left game - blister|
|March 24, 2013||Neftali Feliz||60-Day DL||Recovery from right elbow surgery|
|March 22, 2013||Joakim Soria||15-Day DL||Recovery from right elbow surgery|
|April 28, 2013||Jean Segura||Day-to-Day||Right index finger|
|April 12, 2013||Alex Gonzalez||Day-to-Day||Left hand contusion|
|April 07, 2013||Jean Segura||Day-to-Day||Left game - bruised left quad|
|April 07, 2013||Chris Narveson||15-Day DL||Sprained middle finger|
|April 06, 2013||Aramis Ramirez||15-Day DL||Left knee sprain|
|April 06, 2013||Aramis Ramirez||15-Day DL||Left knee sprain|
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- When Derek Holland got in some trouble, his defense bailed him out.
The Brewers' blunders on the basepaths didn't hurt, either.
Holland allowed one run over seven shaky innings and Texas benefited from two Milwaukee baserunning mistakes to beat the Brewers 4-1 Wednesday night.
"This was a true nine guys doing every little thing for us to win a game," Holland said. "That's a lot of hits, but I've got to trust my guys."
Holland (3-2), who struck out six and walked none, yielded 10 hits - including two in the second, three in the third and three in the sixth. He escaped with the help of some sloppy baserunning by the Brewers, who had a runner thrown out at the plate to end the third and another thrown out at third base in the sixth.
"The out at the plate was big for us," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "Great throw and nice block of the plate. We had a shot and we took it."
Tanner Scheppers pitched the eighth and Joe Nathan finished for his ninth save. The Rangers remain the only team in the major leagues without a blown save, 10 for 10.
Ian Kinsler and Mitch Moreland each homered for Texas.
The Rangers scored one run in each of the first three innings off Kyle Lohse (1-4), who allowed four runs on nine hits in 6 1-3 innings.
Lohse escaped a 33-pitch first inning, allowing just one run, despite three consecutive singles to open and a one-out walk. He escaped a bases-loaded jam by striking out Geovany Soto and David Murphy to end the inning.
"To start off the game, they came out swinging and finding holes," Lohse said. "The first two guys, the ball didn't leave the infield. I got myself in a jam. Then I left a changeup up to (Adrian) Beltre. That was the pitch that hurt me was my changeup. I left one up to him, I left one up to Kinsler and I left one up to Moreland. I've got to do a better job of executing."
Kinsler's seventh homer, a two-out shot to left field, made it 2-0 in the second. Moreland increased the lead in the third with another solo homer, his sixth.
"You get out of that first with one run, then I made two mistakes," Lohse said. "One each the second and third inning. That puts the team in the hole against a guy who's going pretty good."
Milwaukee cut the lead to 3-1 in the sixth, but managed just one run despite two triples and a double. Ryan Braun , who extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a third-inning single, led off with a triple and Aramis Ramirez followed with an RBI double to right-center. Ramirez , still rounding into shape after missing 23 games with a sprained knee, was out trying to advance to third when the ball squirted away from catcher Soto, who recovered in time to make the throw.
"Aramis, that's a judgment call," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "He thought he could make it easy. Sometimes you see things a little different. Any time a ball bounces off a catcher and rolls off, your instincts take over as to whether to go or not."
Carlos Gomez tripled with two outs when right fielder Nelson Cruz misplayed a fly ball, but struggling Rickie Weeks grounded out to end the inning.
The Rangers added a run in the seventh on Moreland's RBI single.
Texas center fielder Leonys Martin prevented another run in the third,
throwing out Jean Segura on a slide at home to end the inning. Segura tried to score from second on Ramirez's single.
"Segura did slide at home, but he slowed up a little bit because they deked him," Roenicke said. "He should have ran hard and slid."
Gomez also had two singles and a double, extending his hitting streak to a career-high 14 games and raising his league-leading average to .386.
"We had a couple opportunities, but Holland knows what he's doing," Roenicke said. "I think he steps it up when he's got people on base. All of a sudden you see the 95s (mph). He's got good stuff. He can get out of jams."
NOTES: Weeks, mired in a horrible slump, was dropped to seventh in the batting order for the first time this season. Weeks went 0 for 3, dropping his average to .188. . With the victory, the Rangers avoided their first three-game losing streak. . With his two hits, Braun extended his interleague hitting streak to 30 games, trailing only Matt Lawton (37 games) and Ichiro Suzuki (31 games) for longest all-time. . The Brewers have scored just 14 runs in Lohse's seven starts this season. . Moreland has homered in consecutive games for the first time since Aug. 17-19, 2011 against the Chicago White Sox. . After a disappointing 3-6 homestand, the Brewers have an off day before starting a 10-game road trip to Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and St. Louis - the three teams in front of them in the Central Division.