6/1/2013 5:10 P.M. ET
Holland sets career-high marks in strong May
By Master Tesfatsion / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- Derek Holland wrapped up an impressive month on the mound Friday.
He finished 4-0 in six May starts, tying a career high in wins in a month, with a 2.31 ERA. He recorded 44 strikeouts in May, the most for Holland in a single month and the second highest by a Rangers left-hander in club history.
Holland allowed two runs (one earned) on eight hits in seven innings Friday against the Royals, striking out eight batters on 104 pitches in a 7-2 win.
"I've been locating a lot better," Holland said. "I've been getting my mind right and taking the next step mentally and gotten myself prepared. I spent the whole offseason making sure I could find all the things that were wrong and adjust from them, learn from them and make improvements."
"The impressive part is he's been able to keep himself and the teams he's facing in check -- mainly himself," Rangers manager Ron Washington said.
Washington said Holland has gone deeper in starts because he hasn't allowed huge innings this season. He went five or more innings in five of his six starts in May.
"I think his growth and maturity, [mentality] is always involved," Washington said. "It's mainly his maturity, his focus and his priorities. He's got all that in check right now. He's not scattered. He's where he's supposed to be.
"We always knew he had the ability to be something special. Maybe this is the year he steps up and does just that."
Ogando's roster status still up in the air
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers will make a decision on pitcher Alexi Ogando after his bullpen session Sunday.
He threw long toss Saturday before the game against the Royals, as well as six innings on 60 pitches for Double-A Frisco on Friday, well below his 75-pitch or five-innings limit.
"The report I got is he threw well," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He started out slow -- 88-89 [mph]. After the second inning, he started letting it go."
Ogando said his session went well and he didn't feel any pain. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list on May 16 with biceps tendinitis. Washington said a second rehab start is an option, but he is unsure at the moment.
"If we go on what he did last night, he's ready to go," Washington said. "It's always an option, but that determination will be based off his bullpen tomorrow."
The rotation after Justin Grimm's start Tuesday against Boston hasn't been announced. If Ogando's session goes well, he could start against the Red Sox or the Blue Jays. His return could give someone in the rotation an extra day of rest.
"There's always guys that could use an extra day," Washington said. "It all depends on once he throws his bullpen tomorrow. We'll sit down and decide if we feel like he's ready to be back in [the rotation]. We'll make that determination. Until he does his bullpen, and we're pleased with it, we'll set it up."
Washington, Andrus attempt to prank Beltre
ARLINGTON -- Rangers manager Ron Washington was part of Elvis Andrus' antics to irritate Adrian Beltre on Friday.
He just didn't deliver.
Washington and Andrus attempted to gang up on Beltre when the third baseman returned to the dugout following his solo home run in the seventh. Washington said Andrus talked him into grabbing Beltre's batting helmet. Part of a well-documented pet peeve for Beltre, he's not a fan of someone touching his head.
However, Washington didn't come through for Andrus as Beltre picked up on their plan quickly. He turned his head around just as Washington went for Beltre's helmet.
"[Andrus] told me he'd distract him and you go try and grab his helmet, but Beltre was on that," Washington said. "I went for it, and he turned his head the other way. He knew right away, I guess. I tried, but I missed. I wish I would've came off with it."
Washington said he would've put Beltre's helmet in Andrus' hands so the shortstop would've received Beltre's wrath.
"They have fun playing the game and keep each other loose," Washington said.
• The Rangers named Adrian Beltre the team's Player of the Month on Saturday. He hit .376 with six home runs and 23 RBIs in 28 games in May, and he led the majors with 44 hits in the month. He's the first player in Rangers history with four games of four or more hits in a month. He went 4-for-4 Friday in a win over the Royals.
• Rangers manager Ron Washington said Mike Olt will go back to Triple-A Round Rock once he's past his vision issues. He wants Olt "to relax and go play" while he's with Double-A Frisco. Olt went 1-for-4 with a two-run homer in his first game with Frisco on Friday.
• The Red Sox have not announced their starting pitchers for their three-game series with the Rangers from Tuesday to Thursday, but Texas is likely to face former teammate Ryan Dempster in the first game. He is expected to be followed by John Lackey and Jon Lester. This would be Lackey's 38th career start against the Rangers, which ties him with Frank Tanana for fourth all-time. Jack Morris leads with 41.
• Robbie Ross competed in the Dairy MAX Cow Milking Contest before the game against the Royals on Saturday. He sought a "Tosh.0 redemption" after he lost last year to Angels outfielder Kole Calhoun.
Master Tesfatsionis an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.