ARLINGTON, Texas — Derek Holland is intent on making up for the time he missed on the mound for the Texas Rangers, who keep winning series at home.
The left-hander certainly seems to be getting back into form after missing a month because of shoulder fatigue brought on when he lost about 15 pounds when he had a stomach virus.
Holland retired 20 of 22 batters over one stretch Wednesday night and struck out seven in 7 2-3 innings, and the Rangers scored the go-ahead run after a couple of wild throws by Josh Beckett in a 5-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox.
“I’m trying to do everything I can to step up and get those innings back, that I had lost in the month off,” Holland said. “I put the pressure on myself. Obviously everybody else wants me to step things up, but I feel like I’m kind of doing it on my own.”
The Rangers took two of three against Boston to win their seventh consecutive series at home. It came during a three-day span when they found out right-hander Colby Lewis was done for the season with a torn flexor tendon and Roy Oswalt skipped his scheduled start because of back stiffness.
In his fourth start since coming off the DL, Holland (7-5) allowed three runs and five hits with one walk.
“We needed exactly what he gave us,” manager Ron Washington said. “He competed. He gave up two home runs, but he didn’t let it affect him and kept getting after it.”
Elvis Andrus was hit on the left forearm by a pitch to reach with one out in the seventh. He got to third on a single by Adrian Beltre and scored to break a 3-all tie when Beckett (5-9) threw a wild pitch that bounced several feet wide of the plate.
“Josh gave us a zero in the first inning, as promised, and pitched a good game,” Boston manager Bobby Valentine said. “Nobody on in the seventh, then a wild pitch to score a go-ahead run. … It’s a damn shame.”
Beltre was back in the lineup a day after being hit by a pitch thrown by Vicente Padilla that knocked off his helmet and sent him to the ground. Beltre, who insisted again before Wednesday’s game that he didn’t think that 0-2 pitch was purposely thrown at him, had a bruise but no concussion.
In what may have been a bit of retaliation with two outs in the first, Red Sox cleanup hitter Adrian Gonzalez was hit in the buttocks by a pitch. Home plate umpire Tim Tschida, the crew chief, pointed Gonzalez to first base and didn’t issue any warnings.
There were no further issues, and it was clear by Beckett’s reaction when he hit Andrus in the seventh that it was just a pitch that got away.
While retiring 20 of 22 batters, Holland gave up solo homers to Will Middlebrooks and Dustin Pedroia. He struck out the side in the seventh. The impressive stretch ended when Pedro Ciriaco had a two-out single in the eighth with Pedroia on deck.
Mike Adams retired Pedroia on a running catch by left fielder David Murphy. Joe Nathan worked a perfect ninth for his 20th save in 21 chances a day after allowing consecutive two-out walks and then giving up a run in a 2-1 loss to the Red Sox.
Beckett, who allowed nine hits and walked two in his seven innings, never appeared in the clubhouse when it was open to reporters after the game.
Jacoby Ellsbury drew a walk to start the game and eventually scored when Pedroia grounded into a double play.
Holland began his impressive streak after Middlebrooks led off the second with a single. Middlebrooks hit his 12th homer in the fourth, and Pedroia went deep in the sixth.
The Rangers scored three times in the fourth, when they got started with doubles by Michael Young and Murphy. It was Young’s first extra-base hit in 11 games since the All-Star break, and Murphy’s first RBI since June 28.
Murphy scored on Craig Gentry’s perfectly executed suicide squeeze bunt to tie the game at 2. Ian Kinsler followed with an RBI bloop single that dropped after glancing off the heel of sliding right fielder Cody Ross’ glove.
“We did some good execution,” Washington said. “So it worked out for us.”
NOTES: Cruz was mired in a 5-for-33 slump with 11 strikeouts over 10 games before his homer. … Cruz also had an impressive defensive play in the fourth when he reached back while sliding to catch Ross’ flyball near the right-field line. …Holland has allowed 16 homers this season. … Both teams are off Thursday. The Red Sox then open a weekend series at the New York Yankees. The Rangers, who have won seven consecutive home series, stay home for a three-game set vs. the Chicago White Sox. … Rangers 1B Mitch Moreland, who is on the disabled list, became a father Wednesday. His wife gave birth to their first child, a son.
TIGERS 5, INDIANS 3: Max Scherzer allowed two runs over seven innings to win his fourth straight decision and the Detroit Tigers beat the Cleveland Indians for only the second time in eight games this season with a 5-3 victory Wednesday night.
Quintin Berry had three hits and drove in two runs to help Scherzer (10-5) win for the first time in four career starts at Progressive Field.
Scherzer, whose only mistake came on Casey Kotchman’s two-run homer in the third, held the Indians to three hits, struck out eight and walked four.
Jose Valverde gave up Travis Hafner’s one-out homer in the ninth before recording his 19th save in 23 chances.
The Tigers, who have won 14 of 17, remained tied for first in the AL Central with Chicago, while the third-place Indians fell four games out.
Derek Lowe (8-9) allowed five runs in six innings, but wasn’t helped by shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera’s throwing errors on back-to-back plays that allowed two runs to score in the second.
Lowe, the Indians’ best pitcher the first two months of the season, is 2-8 with a 7.59 ERA in his last 12 starts. The 39-year-old right-hander was 6-1 with a 2.05 ERA in his first eight outings but has been rocked since, allowing 89 hits and 54 earned runs in 64 innings.
Miguel Cabrera’s RBI single in the first gave Detroit the early lead. Singles by Austin Jackson and Berry put runners on first and third before Cabrera lined a single to right-center. Jackson scored and Berry took third, but Cabrera was thrown out trying for second to end the rally.
Lowe continued to struggle in the second when he was hurt by Cabrera’s shoddy defense. Alex Avila doubled with one out and Omar Infante sent a routine grounder to short for what should have been the second out, but Cabrera’s throw to first pulled Kotchman off the bag with Avila taking third.
Cabrera then made a backhand stop of Jackson’s ground ball, but his one-hop throw skipped past second baseman Jason Kipnis and rolled into right field. Avila scored and the runners moved to second and third. Berry’s single made it 3-0.
Kotchman’s two-run homer — the Indians’ first hit — closed the gap to 3-2. After Shin-Soo Choo doubled with one out, Kipnis drew a two-out walk, but the inning ended when Michael Brantley flied out to deep right.
Scherzer grew stronger as the game went on. He retired 13 of the last 15 he faced after walking Kipnis and needed only five pitches to get through the seventh.
Lowe walked the bases loaded to start the fifth, but the Tigers scored only one run on Prince Fielder’s sacrifice fly. Berry added an RBI single in the sixth.
Lowe gave up four earned runs and allowed eight hits.
Cabrera has 12 errors this season, including a three-error game June 17 against Pittsburgh.
NOTES: RHP Roberto Hernandez, formerly known as Fausto Carmona, will make his first rehab start Thursday since returning to the U.S. Hernandez is serving a three-week suspension handed down by MLB for age and identity fraud. He will face West Michigan, whose catcher is Patrick Leyland, the sons of the Tigers manager. … RHP Anibal Sanchez, acquired from Miami on Monday, will throw a bullpen session Thursday and is scheduled to make his first AL start Saturday at Toronto. … Indians OF Aaron Cunningham was designated for assignment, clearing room on the 25-man roster for utility man Brent Lillibridge, who was acquired Tuesday from the Red Sox in exchange for minor league RHP Jose De La Torre. … The teams wrap up their three-game series Thursday night with Tigers RHP Justin Verlander (11-5, 2.42 ERA) facing RHP Zach McAllister (4-2, 3.21 ERA).