for this game

Holland, Rangers blank Mariners

Jul 15, 2011 - 5:32 AM Seattle, WA (Sports Network) - Derek Holland has apparently put his first July start well into the rearview mirror, as the left-hander tossed his second straight shutout in the Rangers' 5-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners.

Holland (8-4) failed to get out the first inning against the Marlins on July 2, but five days later tossed a four-hit shutout against the Athletics. He was just as dominant in the opener of this four-game series, setting down the first 15 batters he faced and finishing with eight strikeouts.

"That's two in a row he's thrown the ball the way we know he's capable of throwing it," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "If he can stay consistent like that, throwing the ball in the strike zone, I think he's going to be fine. He really did an outstanding job tonight."

The Mariners mustered just five hits and a walk off Holland, who was backed by solo home runs from Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz and Mike Napoli in the club's season-high eighth straight win.

Jason Vargas (6-7) was knocked around for 12 hits and five runs in a six- inning start for Seattle, which has dropped six in a row.

Texas showed its power in the first two innings, with Hamilton going deep in the first and Cruz barely clearing the wall in right in the second.

Michael Young hit a two-out single to plate Elvis Andrus from second base in the third frame, and the visitors tacked on two more runs in the sixth on Napoli's leadoff blast and Andrus' run-scoring base hit.

Holland was perfect before walking Franklin Gutierrez leading off the sixth. Chone Figgins followed with a single to center to break up the no-hit bid, but Holland stranded the runners by retiring the next three hitters.

The Mariners left runners on the corners in the seventh and went down in order in the eighth. Holland gave up a pair of two-out hits in the ninth before retiring Adam Kennedy on his 118th pitch to end the game.

"He had real good stuff," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said of Holland. "He had a powerful sinker, a good changeup and threw some good sliders. He threw a real good ballgame."

Game Notes

Holland, who matched his career-high win total set in 2009, has four career shutouts, three this season. The nine hits he has allowed his past two outings have all been singles. He is the first Ranger with back-to-back shutouts since Charlie Hough had a club-record three straight during the 1983 campaign...The Rangers had 10 shutouts prior to the All-Star break, the most in club history...Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak snapped an 0-for-21 slump with a single in the ninth inning...Napoli had three of Texas' 12 hits.