ARLINGTON, Texas — The return of left-hander Derek Holland seemed to perk up the Texas offense.
Holland made his first start for the Rangers since April 10, but he was overshadowed by a seventh inning in which the Rangers smacked three home runs in a four-pitch sequence against Seattle left-hander Joe Beimel.
That outburst helped propel Holland and the Rangers to 7-2 win over the Mariners and complete a 5-1 homestand.
Texas led 3-2 going into the bottom of the seventh against Beimel. That’s when designated hitter Mitch Moreland crushed a two-run homer that just cleared the fence in right. First baseman Mike Napoli followed with a 446-foot homer to center and then shortstop Elvis Andrus lined a homer to left, giving the Rangers back-to-back-to-back homers for the eighth time in franchise history.
“It was a big inning for us,” said Moreland, who had three RBIs. “We had two big innings today and that happened to be a good one late in the ballgame. It gave us a little extra cushion there, and I was glad I was able to get a decent pitch and get us started. You’ve got to tip your hat to everybody today.”
The last time Texas hit three consecutive homers was May 26, 2012, against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Beimel’s seventh inning started on an ominous tone as he hit Shin-Soo Choo to lead off. Beimel, who was cut after two weeks in spring training with Texas, was done after 19 pitches and one out.
“It was kind of like I was throwing though mud,” Beimel said. “I haven’t had my stuff in like
a week and a half, I think. Today was definitely no exception.”
The offensive outburst helped make a winner of Holland (1-1), who hadn’t pitched since April 10 because of a strained left shoulder muscle. He allowed two runs on eight hits in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out six and didn’t walk a batter.
Holland didn’t give up a run until Seattle designated hitter Mark Trumbo homered in the fifth. He allowed just one run — on a double play — after the Mariners (56-65) loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth.
Holland, who pitched just one inning before getting hurt in his first start of the season, was glad to be back in the mix and take advantage of the Texas offense.
“It’s huge,” he said. “I’ve got to go out there every time and help these guys win. I’ve got to give them a chance to win, and today I thought I did a good job. I battled.”
The big seventh came after the Rangers (61-58) had gone quiet. Texas scored three runs in the first inning off Seattle left-hander Mike Montgomery. Moreland hit an RBI single, and Andrus had a two-run single. Moreland and Andrus each finished with three RBIs.
Montgomery (4-6) allowed three runs on six hits in six innings. He walked four and struck out three.
The Mariners had their chances against Holland, who had pitched just one inning all season for Texas, but were just 2 for 8 with runners in scoring position. Every time Holland needed to make a pitch he was able to.
“He was throwing his pitches, especially his breaking pitches. He was throwing early in the count for strikes,” Seattle right fielder Nelson Cruz said. “Those are the ones that are tough to command. He was dealing those pretty good.”