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Holland shaky but holds on as Rangers beat Brewers 4-1
MILWAUKEE -- Over the course of a 162-game major league season, losing streaks are inevitable but for the Texas Rangers, two is their limit.
The Rangers have not lost more than two consecutive games all season and avoiding dropping their third in a row again, beating Milwaukee 4-1 Wednesday at Miller Park.
Texas took an early lead on Brewers starter Kyle Lohse, scoring a run in each of the first three innings, then rode the arm of Derek Holland through seven innings, to earn a split in the short, two-game series.
Holland gave up a season-high 10 hits in his seven-inning effort but held Milwaukee to just a run while striking out six to win his second in a row and third of the season against one loss.
"He scattered their hits well, made pitches when he needed to and didn't walk anybody," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "Derek did what he had to do."
The left-hander attacked the zone, throwing 64 of his 93 pitches for strikes, but when Milwaukee put the ball in play, the Rangers defense was sharp, catching runners twice to erase scoring threats and turning an inning-ending double play in the eighth.
"I was making my pitches but you've got to give our defense credit," Holland said. "That's a lot of hits to give up but I've got to trust my guys."
Texas' defense made perhaps the biggest play of the day in the third, when the Brewers had a chance to tie the game with two on and two out.
Jean Segura moved to second on Ryan Braun's base hit and when Aramis Ramirez singled to center, Lenoys Martin's throw to Geovony Soto came home in plenty of time to catch Segura, who had slowed down rounding third, at the plate to end the inning.
"The out at the plate was big for us," Washington said. "Great throw and nice block of the plate. We had a shot and we took it."
Milwaukee was already down 3-0 by that point after an uncharacteristic start by right-hander Kyle Loshe, who surrendered solo home runs to Ian Kinsler and Mitch Moreland in the second and third innings, respectively.
"[My changeup] hurt me," Lohse said. "I left one up to [Adrian Beltre]. I left one up to Kinsler. I left one up to Moreland. I have to do a better job of executing right there. I thought [Lucroy] called a great game. I just have to execute better."
Lohse minimized the damage to work 6 1/3 innings, allowing all four Texas runs on nine hits and two walks with six strikeouts.
Lohse has now taken the loss in three consecutive starts, allowing eight runs on 20 hits in those outings, but once again was doomed by a lack of run support from his offense, which had scored just 13 in his six previous starts.
Milwaukee finally got on the board in the sixth, when Ryan Braun scored on Ramirez's double. But Ramirez was caught trying to take third base on a wild pitch and, after Carlos Gomez tripled with two outs, Rickie Weeks ended the inning, and the Brewers' threat, with a groundout to second.
Gomez's triple was part of a 4-for-4 day that included a double. He's now hit safely in a career-high 14 straight games and leads the National League with a .386 batting average.
NOTES: Rangers catcher A.J. Pierzynski was placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday after an MRI revealed a strained right oblique. Pierzynski was a late scratch from Tuesday's game and his missed four of the last nine. The Rangers will summon Robinson Chirinos from Triple-A Round Rock before their next game, Friday at Houston. ... The Brewers lead the majors with 43 infield hits this season. ... Jeff Baker is 22-for-53 in 20 career games at Miller Park. ... Braun has hit safely in 30 consecutive interleague games. ... Brewers 2B Weeks, hitting .188 in 32 games this season, was dropped to seventh in Milwaukee's batting order.