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Holland sharp in Rangers' second Alamodome win

Holland sharp in Rangers' second Alamodome win

SAN ANTONIO -- Derek Holland wanted to finish strong, and he did just that.

Holland pitched four scoreless innings on Saturday afternoon as the Rangers closed out Spring Training with a 5-2 victory over the Padres at the Alamodome.

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Holland allowed four hits and struck out six against the Padres, who had their Opening Day lineup in the game with the exception of outfielder Carlos Quentin. With his two starts during his time with Team USA, Holland threw 27 innings for the spring.

"I feel great, it helped out," Holland said. "I got a couple of big games with Team USA and everything else was the same. I didn't get too far in front or too far behind. It was a great experience, I'm ready for the season."

Holland also avoided giving up a home run in the Alamodome. Holland gave up 32 home runs in just 175 1/3 innings last year but kept the Padres in the park on Saturday afternoon even though it's just 285 feet down the right-field line.

"I'm known for the home run so I wanted to make sure I kept the ball down," Holland said. "The main thing was to finish strong. I wanted to work on some different things and everything was good. The defense made some great plays, it was a good all-around game."

Holland's next outing will be in the Rangers home opener against the Angels on Friday at the Ballpark in Arlington.

The top four starters in the Rangers rotation -- Matt Harrison, Yu Darvish, Alexi Ogando and Holland -- finished the spring with a 3.16 ERA in the Cactus League. Opponents hit .244 off them.

Up next: Harrison makes his first Opening Day start when the Rangers play the Astros at 7:05 p.m. (CT) Sunday at Minute Maid Park. The Rangers are 21-15 against the Astros in Houston and 42-30 overall. The two teams will meet 18 times this season and still play for the Silver Boot Trophy. The Rangers have won six straight Silver Boot Trophies, which goes to the team that wins the season series.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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