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03/30/11 10:30 PM ET
Holland strong as Rangers close out spring
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
ROUND ROCK, Texas -- Derrek Holland turned in a solid start in the Rangers' final game of the exhibition season, but the Round Rock Express scored two runs off reliever Darren O'Day in the bottom of the eighth and rallied for a 4-3 victory at Dell Diamond on Wednesday.
Round Rock starter Michael Kirkman left the game with one out in the second inning when he was hit in the left elbow by a line drive off the bat of Nelson Cruz. He was replaced by Zach Jackson. Kirkman's elbow was bruised and swollen after the game.
"Ball in the middle of the plate," Kirkman said. You could see the laces right after it happened. I think it hit just enough to hurt but not enough of anything to hurt badly.
Holland, who had a 6.38 ERA in the Cactus League, went five innings and allowed one run on six hits and two walks while striking out four. He threw 80 pitches, including 54 for strikes. His first start is scheduled for Tuesday against the Mariners.
"To me, I was very pleased with Spring Training," Holland said. "I used all my pitches and, for the most part, everything was good. My mechanics were good, so was my rhythm and tempo."
Chad Tracy had a game-tying home run for the Express in the eighth. Shortstop Luis Cruz was 2-for-4 for Round Rock, one day after he signed as a free agent.
Cruz was 2-for-3 for the Rangers, and Elvis Andrus had an RBI triple.
Despite the game being over, Mason Tobin got some work in with an unofficial bottom of the ninth. He allowed two hits in a scoreless frame.