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Holland roughed up by Yankees

Holland roughed up by Yankees

ARLINGTON -- Rangers rookie pitcher Derek Holland came out determined to challenge the New York Yankees on Wednesday.

Showing little fear or intimidation, he threw 18 four-seam fastballs in the 91-94 mile per hour range in the first inning, out of 21 pitches. He mixed in just two changeups and one breaking ball. But it turns out that a couple of All-Stars were up to the challenge.

After a leadoff single by Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira hit a two-run home run with one out in the top of the first, and the Yankees went on to a 9-2 victory over the Rangers at the Ballpark in Arlington.

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"It's definitely different against the Yankees," Holland said. "They have a solid lineup, every one of those guys is a tough out. I was okay with it. I was satisfied with it. There were some things I could have done better. I could have had better location."

A.J. Burnett pitched six scoreless innings and Hideki Matsui hit two home runs for the Yankees, who ended up taking two of three from the Rangers in their only visit to Arlington this season.

The Rangers drew 120,720 fans for the three-game series, including 38,409 on Wednesday. It's the most the Rangers have drawn for a three-game series since April 6-8, 2007, against the Red Sox. But it's also first time the Rangers have lost a home series since losing two of three to the Royals on April 17-19. The Rangers had won eight in a row at the Ballpark and 10 of their past 12 at home before the Yankees came into town.

The loss also kept the Rangers from winning only their second series at home against the Yankees since 1997. The only series the Rangers have won in that span was when they took two of three from the Yankees on May 21-23, 2004.

Ian Kinsler hit a two-run home run off reliever Jose Veras in the seventh, but the Rangers were trailing, 8-0, at the time. Most of the damage came off Holland, who allowed six runs -- five earned -- on 10 hits and two walks while striking out five. He is now 1-2 with a 5.70 ERA in two starts and seven relief appearances since being called up from Triple-A Oklahoma.

"He held his own," manager Ron Washington said. "Burnett was just too tough. It might have been different if we put up some runs and put some pressure on Burnett, but we didn't do that."

Teixeira's home run gave the Yankees a 2-0 lead, and they added another run in the second on a pair of doubles by Kevin Cash and Jeter. Holland did come back with three scoreless innings, keeping the Rangers within striking distance. But they couldn't break through against Burnett despite making him throw 118 pitches in just six innings.

Burnett allowed three hits and four walks but struck out seven and held the Rangers hitless in four at-bats with runners in scoring position.

Holland couldn't get through the sixth. Matsui hit his first home run of the night to lead off the inning, and then Holland walked Nick Swisher. Brett Gardner followed with a roller to the first-base side of home plate. Holland fielded it but threw wildly trying to get Gardner and runners ended up at second and third.

That was Holland's last throw of the night. Jason Jennings took over and gave up a two-run single to Cash.

"Holland hung in there pretty good for five," Washington said. "I don't think he got rattled, but you give those guys pitches to hit, they're not going to miss them. This kid will get it. After the second inning, he settled down and put some zeroes on the board. He just ran into some trouble in the sixth."

Holland is not done against the Yankees. There appeared to be a growing chance that he would move to the bullpen next week when Vicente Padilla returned from the disabled list on Tuesday. But that possibility could be on hold now that Matt Harrison is likely going on the disabled list with a strained left shoulder.

Padilla is scheduled to throw in the bullpen on Friday and if that goes well, he would be ready to come off the disabled list when the Rangers open a three-game series against the Yankees in the Bronx on Tuesday. Padilla could pitch either Tuesday or Wednesday. Holland will likely pitch the other day.

"I've got to be ready for them again," Holland said. "I've seen some things, now I've got to be more prepared the next time."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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