Derek Holland was encouraged after one of his best outings of the season. The Rangers were even happier that they'll get their former ace, Yu Darvish, on the mound Saturday.
Holland gave up two runs and seven hits in a 2-0 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Monday night. His only major blemish was allowing a two-run homer to Albert Pujols in the third inning. It was Pujols' 569th career home run.
Holland (3-4), who went 6 2-3 innings, has allowed only four earned runs in his last two starts totaling 12 2/3 innings after giving up 15 in two starts during which he didn't get through the second inning.
"Today, I think, was the best movement I've had," said Holland, who's looking to pitch a full season for the first time since 2013 following multiple injuries. "You've got to tip your hat to Pujols. That ball came down the middle. He's paid to hit the ball like that."
Rangers manager Jeff Banister liked that Holland got eight ground-ball outs, a high number for him.
"Close to 70 percent strikes," Banister said. "Derek mixed better tonight . It's encouraging."
Before the game, Texas announced that Darvish would make his first major league start since August 2014 on Saturday against Pittsburgh. Darvish had Tommy John surgery in March 2015.
Pujols' homer tied him for 12th place with Rafael Palmeiro, who hit 321 homers during his 10 seasons with Texas.
"At the end of my career, I can look back," Pujols said. "Right now, I'm just trying to produce and help this ballclub win."
Nick Tropeano (3-2) threw 6 2/3 innings and allowed four hits and one walk while striking out six.
The Rangers followed a nine-run outburst on Sunday afternoon in completing a sweep at Houston by going 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
Elvis Andrus extended his hitting streak to nine straight, a club high this season.
Hamilton Out for Year
Josh Hamilton had hoped to return from his spring training knee injury in June. But the team announced Monday that the five-time All-Star and 2010 American League MVP will have surgery on June 8 and won't play this year.
"I knew we were probably headed down that direction," Banister said. "I feel for Josh - what he means to us and to the organization, the fan base."
Soft in the Middle
Texas' 3-4-5 hitters left 11 men on base, seven alone by No. 5 hitter Mitch Moreland. He's hitless in his last 15 at-bats. That included a liner up the middle in the eighth inning with the bases loaded that struck right-hander Fernando Salas in his pitching arm, resulting in a routine ground out.
"It's going into center field, and we're still playing, possibly," Banister said. "I know he'll work his way out of it."
Planes, No Trains, Automobiles
Jared Hoying was called up from Triple-A Round Rock and made his major league debut starting in left field. The 27-year-old went 0-for-2, reached on an error and was picked off first base.
Hoying got the word late morning after his team returned to the Austin area from El Paso on a 5:30 a.m. flight.
"It took a little while to get here, but I got here and couldn't be happier," he said. "It was everything I ever dreamed of."
Slugging prospect Joey Gallo was also called up and flied out as a pinch hitter in the ninth.
Rangers: Hoying and Gallo were summoned after OFs Shin-Soo Choo (hamstring) and Drew Stubbs (toe) were placed on the 15-day disabled list on Monday, Choo retroactive to Saturday.
Angels: Closer Huston Street (oblique) is scheduled to throw in an extended spring training game on Friday after pitching a simulated inning at Globe Life Park on Monday.
The four May starts made by Rangers LHP Martin Perez (1-4) have resulted in two losses and two no-decisions despite a 2.59 ERA. In Perez's nine starts this season, the Rangers have scored one run or fewer five times.
Angels RHP Jhoulys Chacin (1-2) has two no-decisions since being acquired from Atlanta. He allowed four earned runs in 4 1/3 innings in the Angels' win over the Dodgers on Thursday.