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That Holland Could Put Rangers Over the Top

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    Derek Holland #45 of the Texas Rangers throws against the Toronto Blue Jays in the first inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on August 25, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

    Derek Holland has been pretty tremendous in his three starts back in the Rangers starting rotation since coming off the disabled list a couple of weeks ago. Even his bad start, against the best lineup in baseball, resulted in him giving up just four runs to the Toronto Blue Jays on a night when his stuff was all a bit flat.

    On Sunday afternoon against a pretty good lineup in its own right, Holland turned in his best outing of the season and maybe the best of his career against Baltimore in what was his eighth career complete-game shutout.

    Holland fanned 11 Orioles and walked zero while retiring the final 14 batters he faced. He never let a runner get past second base. It was an absolute gem.

    Several insiders have suggested the Rangers might have the best rotation among playoff-contending clubs in the American League now, and it's nothing at all far-fetched. You're talking Cole Hamels, Holland, Martin Perez, Yovani Gallardo and the rock all season, Colby Lewis, as the No. 5 starter.

    “When you have those guys out there, it gives you comfort that you’re going to get some length,” manager Jeff Banister told reporters on Sunday. “If we can score them some runs, they’re going to keep the game where it is. They give us a great opportunity to win ballgames.”

    Holland spent four months on the DL after leaving the Rangers' home opener in April after one inning and nine pitches. Now, all of that seems to be behind him.

    “It’s been frustrating, but I’m over that,” Holland told the Dallas Morning News. “I’m getting myself ready for what I’ve got to do now. I’ve got to stay focused and not worry about the past. Be Derek.”