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Vargas' solid outing tops the Athletics

Rangers left-hander Derek Holland gets a chance to make up for a disappointing result in his first start of the season and Mariners lefty Jason Vargas gets to pitch against someone other than the Oakland A's in the finale of a four-game series Thursday afternoon.

Holland wasn't bad on Friday against the White Sox, working six innings and giving up three earned runs and walking three while allowing three hits in a no-decision as Alex Rios' leadoff home run in the ninth inning saddled the Rangers with 4-3 loss.

It was the three walks that had Holland talking to himself.

"If you're walking people, you're not giving your team a chance to win," he said Wednesday. "I was very disappointed in the amount of walks I had. Two-out walks are always a killer. Just to go out there and eliminate those will be progress."

All three runs the White Sox scored against Holland came with two outs, and all were driven home by Paul Konerko.

If history is any indication, the Mariners are a good team for Holland to attempt to bounce back against.

He is 4-1 with a 3.10 ERA against them.

"I'm just looking to go out there and be consistent," Holland said. "That's all I worry about."

Vargas started against the A's in his first two starts this season.

On March 29 in Tokyo, he got a no-decision, but pitched well, working 6 1/3 innings and giving up two hits and an earned run while striking out three and walking two in a 4-1 loss.

On April 6 in Oakland, he was credited with the victory, working 5 1/3 innings and allowing five hits and two earned runs while striking out three and walking one.

Vargas is 1-2 with a 4.55 ERA at Rangers Ballpark.

"I think I've pitched pretty well here," he said."You just have to attack hitters and make them conscious that you're going to execute pitches early in the count and force them to put themselves in the aggressive mode. This team is aggressive, and they're not going to miss too many mistakes, so you've got to be on your game."

Mariners: Little success against Rangers
Losses in the first two games of the series continued the Mariners' hard times against the Rangers. The Mariners were 4-15 against the American League champions last season, including 1-8 at Rangers Ballpark.

Rangers: Holland tough on AL West foes
Holland was 7-0 with a 2.85 ERA in 11 starts against AL West teams last season.

Worth noting
• In 266 games in Arlington, Tuesday night marked just the fifth 1-0 game played between the Mariners and Rangers, and just the second at Rangers Ballpark, The last one was Sept. 3, 2008. Comments