SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Derek Holland and Alexi Ogando broke out their Spring Training projects on Monday in their first outing of the Cactus League.
Holland worked on his off-speed stuff, while Ogando focused on his slider and throwing his fastball inside. Both felt they took a first good step in a 7-6 loss against the Royals at Surprise Stadium.
Holland allowed one run on four hits in two innings of work. The big pitch came with runners at the corners and one out in the second. Holland got out of the jam by getting Alcides Escobar to ground into a double play. Holland did so with his changeup.
"That's the big thing I've been focusing on, me more consistent with my off-speed pitches," Holland said. "I've got a good fastball, but I've got to establish the off-speed stuff. Today I kept everything down, that was the important thing. I was also able to throw everything for strikes."
Holland showed in Game 4 of the World Series what he can do when all three pitches are working. He held the Cardinals to two hits over 8 1/3 innings in the Rangers' 4-0 victory.
"That's the goal, work on the off-speed stuff," Holland said.
"His mental approach will take him to another level," manager Ron Washington said. "He has the stuff to win."
Ogando was told by Washington that he needed pitch inside more this spring. Ogando said he tried that on Monday and he pitched two scoreless innings. He allowed one walk and hit while striking out two.
"He did a good job moving the ball all around the zone," Washington said.
"It's coming along well and my slider works better when I come inside," Ogando said.
The Rangers led 6-1 after four innings before the Royals rallied. The Rangers led 6-5 with two out in the ninth when Kevin Kouzmanoff hit a two-run double for the Royals off of reliever Kelvin de la Cruz.