American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, July 25th
(All times Eastern)
New York Yankees (53-48) at Texas Rangers (56-45), 2:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: New York - Hiroki Kuroda (9-6, 2.65)
Texas - Derek Holland (8-5, 3.10)
(Sports Network) - Derek Holland halted a career-long span of frustration
against the New York Yankees a month ago.
The outing sparked a solid run for the Texas Rangers left-hander, who tries to
defeat the Yankees again on Thursday afternoon in the finale of a four-game
Holland went into a June 27 encounter in the Bronx having gone 0-5 with an
8.85 earned run average in eight previous games versus the Yankees, including
seven starts. But the hurler was able to buck the trend in a 2-0 victory,
tossing a two-hit shutout that was his first of the season and sixth of his
"I haven't had much success against these guys. So, you think positive
thoughts. You can't let any negativity creep in," Holland said after beating
The victory was the first of three straight for Holland over a span of four
starts before he fell into the loss column on Friday versus Baltimore despite
a quality start. The 26-year-old allowed three runs on six hits and two walks
over eight frames of a 3-1 decision.
Holland, who struck out six and has fanned 37 over his past five outings, fell
to 8-5 with a 3.10 ERA in 20 starts this year.
Hoping to avoid a series loss, the Yankees turn to their most successful
starter this season in Hiroki Kuroda, who stands at 9-6 with a 2.65 ERA
through 20 outings this year.
A winner of two straight starts, the 38-year-old righty has yielded two earned
runs or fewer in six of his past seven outings, logging a 2.33 ERA over that
span. Kuroda followed up back-to-back scoreless outings with a win at Boston
on Saturday, charged with two runs and five hits over seven innings with a
"He had everything today," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. "His stuff was
really crisp. He kept his pitch count down in the early innings. His stuff was
Kuroda is 1-2 with a 2.60 ERA in four career meetings with the Rangers and did
not get a decision against them on June 25 after giving up three runs -- two
earned -- over 6 2/3 innings. He struck out six, but yielded a pair of solo
Pitching has been the highlight of this series for the Rangers, who saw
starters Yu Darvish and Alexi Ogando return from the disabled list in the
first two games before debuting hurler Matt Garza in last night's 3-1 win.
Garza was acquired from the Chicago Cubs on Monday and allowed just one
unearned run over 7 1/3 innings to win his sixth straight decision.
"It's awesome. I enjoy it," Garza said. "I just want to get us to October."
Joe Nathan rebounded from allowing a pair of runs in Tuesday's setback to
record the final out of the game and secure his 32nd save.
A.J. Pierzynski hit a tie-breaking homer in the sixth inning and David Murphy
had a solo shot in the eighth for the Rangers, who had lost seven of eight
before taking two of the first three in this set. They are three games out of
first place in the AL West.
Brett Gardner and Robinson Cano each registered two of New York's six hits,
with Cano knocking in the Yankees' lone run in their sixth loss in eight
Andy Pettitte allowed two runs on eight hits over six-plus frames to absorb
"I felt decent, felt pretty good about all my pitches. Garza was tough,"
The Rangers took two of three from the Yankees in the Bronx back in June.
07/25 10:33:31 ET