03/17/12 7:16 PM ET
Holland blanks Cubs over four innings
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
Holland gave up one hit and struck out two over four innings, his longest outing this spring. Mike Adams was impressive for Texas in relief, striking out the side in the fifth.
"Early in camp, I was trying to use all my pitches, but today, I was pitching more like I would in the regular season," Holland said. "I was trying to establish my fastball and work off that."
Jeff Samardzija, vying for a spot in the Cubs' rotation, was charged with one run on three hits over four innings. In three games this spring, he has given up three runs on six hits and struck out nine over 10 innings.
It was the second time through the lineup that the Rangers appeared to figure Samardzija out. Elvis Andrus singled to lead off the Texas fourth, and reached third on Borbon's single. Borbon was thrown out at second trying to stretch his hit, and Josh Hamilton followed with a RBI single.
"I think it was their leadoff hitter," Samardzija said of what happened in the fourth. "With a lineup like that, you have to get the leadoff guy out. You put that first guy on, you go 3-1 on him and he gets a hit, you're in for some work. It's a great lineup and you have to make your pitches.
"To give up a single run to those guys throughout a full game is important," he said. "You have to keep the single numbers up and stay away from the crooked ones."
The Rangers loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth against James Russell, and Borbon smacked a single to right to open a 3-0 lead. The Cubs tallied in the sixth on Alfonso Soriano's two-out RBI single off Alexi Ogando.
The Rangers scored five runs off Trever Miller in the eighth, sparked by Renny Osuna's three-run homer, and Chicago then made the game close with a five-run eighth against Ogando.
Up next: Matt Harrison pitches Sunday for the Rangers against the Cubs in the second game of their two-game series in Las Vegas, live on MLB.TV at 3:05 p.m. CT. But the Rangers also have a split-squad game with the Brewers in Maryvale at 3:05 p.m., and Robbie Ross will start that one. Ross, a rookie left-hander, is mounting a challenge to win a spot in the bullpen, and the Rangers want to see him against Major League hitters at the beginning of the game rather than Triple-A or Double-A hitters in the later innings.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter@CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.