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Holland throws eight strong innings in Rangers win over A's

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The Canadian Press
8/4/2013 7:01:46 PM
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OAKLAND, Calif. -- Ron Washington shook his head, a bemused look on his face. He had a towel draped over his shoulders and was still wet from the beer shower provided by his players.

Derek Holland gave up four hits in eight stellar innings, Nelson Cruz and Mitch Moreland each hit a home run and Washington became the winningest manager in Rangers history as Texas beat the Oakland Athletics 4-0 on Sunday.

"I'm not a fan of the cold stuff," Washington said. "I had to stand there and endure it. Any success you have in life, there are others who helped get you there."

Washington, who coached for Oakland for 11 years, passed Bobby Valentine with his 582nd win.

"Yes it means a lot to me," he said. "I came here as a novice and in seven years won the most games in Rangers' history. This organization gave me the chance and the players kept winning ballgames."

Adrian Beltre had two hits and drove in a run for the Rangers, who have won six of seven to move within 2 1-2 games of the AL West Division leading Athletics.

"It's a pretty cool accomplishment and he's going to get a lot more," Rangers infielder Ian Kinsler said. "He's grow up with this organization and established a winning environment."

Nate Freiman had two hits for the A's, who have lost four of five.

Holland (9-6) walked two and matched his season high with 10 strikeouts as he ended a personal two-game losing streak.

"We've had a strong relationship," Holland said of Washington. "He even comes out to the mound instead of (Mark) Maddux. He's a great guy for me. I love playing for him."

A.J. Griffin (10-8) lasted 6 2-3 innings, allowing four runs -- three earned -- on five hits. He walked one and struck out seven.

Griffin has allowed a major-league leading 28 home runs this season and became the first Oakland pitcher to give up two or more in four consecutive starts since Mark Redman did it in 2007.

"That's the best I've seen Holland pitch in quite a while," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "The inside zone was there for him, which made the changeup really tough to deal with."

Holland, who has an 0.81 ERA in his nine wins, beat the A's for the fifth straight time. He also improved to 7-1 in 12 road starts.

"Oakland is in first place for a reason," Holland said. "We're gaining ground on them for a reason too."

Joe Nathan walked Josh Donaldson and allowed an infield single to Yoenis Cespedes to open the ninth. He got pinch hitter Brandon Moss to ground into a force out and got Alberto Callapso to hit into a game-ending double play.

The Rangers took advantage of a two-out fielding error by Cespedes in the first inning to take the early lead. Kinsler reached second on the play and scored when Beltre singled.

Cruz led off the second inning with his 27th homer of the year and Moreland hit a two-run shot in the seventh.

"It's pretty frustrating," Griffin said of Moreland's home run. "To pitch well for 6 2-3 innings and to have that happen, it's frustrating."

Meanwhile, Holland did not allow a runner past second base. He retired 14 of 15 batters during one stretch.

NOTES: Rangers RHP Matt Garza apologized for remarks he made on twitter following Saturday's loss. He responded in anger to a tweet by Eric Sogard's wife, KayCee. He gave this statement: "All I want to say is I let my competitive spirit cross outside the lines, and that shouldn't happen. I let my passion, my fire carry over, and that's not how this game should be played. And for that I apologize to the Sogards for anything that was said through my Twitter. That's all I have. I regret what happened." ... Sogard and his wife said they have been treating it as though it were a joke and would continue to do so. "There's no hard feelings," he said. ... Texas RHP Colby Lewis (elbow surgery) threw five innings in a rehab start on Saturday. He is expected to pitch at Triple-A Round Rock on Thursday. He can be on rehab until Aug. 15. ... LHP Martin Perez (3-3, 3.93) will start the Rangers series opener against the Los Angeles Angels on Monday night. He pitched into the eighth inning in his last start for the first time in his career. ... RHP Dan Straily (6-5, 4.41) will start Tuesday night in Cincinnati for the A's. He is on a three-game losing streak. ... A's C Stephen Vogt, who was hit on the top of his head by the backswing of Jurickson Profar Saturday, was cleared to play following a battery of tests. ... A's C John Jaso (concussion) is closer to resuming baseball activities. ... A's RHP Grant Balfour spent about 20 minutes before the game with an Australian youth baseball team hosted by a team from nearby Alameda.

Derek Holland (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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