PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) - Derek Holland accomplished something Monday he's never done before: He got a hit.
The Texas Rangers' left hander had a two-out RBI single in the second inning of a 3-1 loss to the San Diego Padres on Monday. It was Holland's first hit as a professional - albeit in an exhibition game - as he doesn't get many opportunities to bat in the American League.
After allowing three runs and six hits in six innings of his first start since returning from World Baseball Classic, Holland was pretty excited about his RBI. The next two at bats, where he struck out trying to get a bunt down, drown him nuts.
``I knocked the cover off the ball. It felt amazing,' Holland said. ``Honestly though, I was more disappointed that I couldn't get a bunt down. I need to work on that whole thing.'
Holland didn't have any complaints about his pitching performance. He had command of all his pitches, including a changeup he'd like to use with greater frequency this season.
Holland threw 81 pitches in the game, 20 more in the bullpen and declared himself ready for the regular season.
``I'm definitely ready to go,' he said after striking out seven and walking one. ``They got a few runs, but I felt really good out there. I threw all my pitches well and I got my pitch count up. Everything felt good.'
Holland said he's in better position to start season than ever after representing Team USA in the World Baseball Classic.
``I rank the atmosphere just as high as the World Series,' Holland said. ``It was an unbelievable experience, and it definitely made me better prepared for the regular season. I feel a step ahead of where I was last year at this time.
``I feel really good right now, and I'm glad to be back with my teammates. This is a family to me, so it was about interacting with them, and taking some flak for not winning the whole thing. The Dominicans on the team still won't let me forget that.'
Jason Marquis allowed one run and six hits in six innings with four walks for the Padres. He worked out of several jams while throwing 91 pitches and kept the Rangers' offense at bay despite flu-like symptoms.
``He battled well, considering his illness,' Padres manager Bud Black said. ``I liked the way he used all of his pitches, including a changeup he's added this spring. He did a good job.'
Elvis Andrus was 2 for 5 with a double for the Rangers, and extended his spring hitting streak to 14 games.
San Diego's Everth Cabrera was 2 for 2 with a run scored and left fielder Jesus Guzman hit a two-run homer and struck out twice.
Padres closer Huston Street pitched back-to-back days for the first time this spring, and threw another perfect inning. Street hasn't allowed a run since Feb. 28, a span of eight innings.
NOTES: Padres LF Carlos Quentin will play his first official major-league game of the spring on Tuesday against San Francisco. He's been rehabbing right knee soreness, and has been restricted to minor-league games in recent weeks. ... 3B Logan Forsythe will also play Tuesday against the Giants. Forsythe (plantar fasciitis) hasn't played for San Francisco since March 7, although he played in the minors on Sunday. ... Rangers manager Ron Washington said that INF Jeff Baker, a non-roster invitee, has made 25-man roster. He'll be a utility player off the bench. ... In addition to RHP Edinson Volquez being named the Padres' opening-day starter, manager Buddy Black said RHP Clayton Richard was the No. 2 starter, and would pitch the team's home opener on April 9. ... Padres RHP Joe Wieland, rehabbing from elbow ligament replacement surgery played catch off a mound for the first time since his July 2012 surgery.
The Associated Press News Service
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