ARLINGTON -- Derek Holland wrapped up an impressive month on the mound Friday.
He finished 4-0 in six May starts, tying a career high in wins in a month, with a 2.31 ERA. He recorded 44 strikeouts in May, the most for Holland in a single month and the second highest by a Rangers left-hander in club history.
Holland allowed two runs (one earned) on eight hits in seven innings Friday against the Royals, striking out eight batters on 104 pitches in a 7-2 win.
"I've been locating a lot better," Holland said. "I've been getting my mind right and taking the next step mentally and gotten myself prepared. I spent the whole offseason making sure I could find all the things that were wrong and adjust from them, learn from them and make improvements."
"The impressive part is he's been able to keep himself and the teams he's facing in check -- mainly himself," Rangers manager Ron Washington said.
Washington said Holland has gone deeper in starts because he hasn't allowed huge innings this season. He went five or more innings in five of his six starts in May.
"I think his growth and maturity, [mentality] is always involved," Washington said. "It's mainly his maturity, his focus and his priorities. He's got all that in check right now. He's not scattered. He's where he's supposed to be.
"We always knew he had the ability to be something special. Maybe this is the year he steps up and does just that."
Master Tesfatsionis an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.