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Holland Looks To Pitch Rangers Out Of Funk

(Sports Network) - The Texas Rangers are doing their best to give away the lead in the American League West. Luckily for them, though, nobody else seems to want it. Tonight, the Rangers try to snap a five-game losing streak when they continue a four-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.

Texas' struggles continued on Tuesday, as Vernon Wells went 3-for-3 with a pair of solo homers and Adam Lind clubbed a two-run shot, helping Toronto to an 8-5 win. John Buck added a solo homer, while Jose Bautista chipped in a two-run double for Toronto, which has won three straight after dropping five of its previous six.

"I think we still have a lot to prove," said Wells, who has hit eight of his 27 home runs this season against the Rangers. "We need to get better as a team and as an organization."

Shaun Marcum (12-7) threw seven solid innings, yielding three runs on six hits with a pair of walks and striking out eight in taking the win. Kevin Gregg retired the final two batters in the ninth to record his 31st save.

Vladimir Guerrero hit a two-run homer and Andres Blanco went 2-for-4 with three RBI for the Rangers, who have lost eight of their last 10, but still lead the division by seven games ahead of second-place Oakland. The Athletics lost at home to Seattle on Tuesday.

Scott Feldman (6-10), replacing left-hander Cliff Lee, who was scratched with a back ailment, allowed four runs on seven hits and one walk over 4 2/3 innings. The right-hander fanned four.

"They're playing really good right now and making us pay for our mistakes," Feldman said of the Blue Jays.

The Rangers have now lost seven straight to the Blue Jays and are a miserable 14-25 against the AL East this season, going just 5-12 against fourth-place Toronto and fifth-place Baltimore.

Hoping to reverse that trend tonight will be left-hander Derek Holland, who has lost his last three decisions. Holland was charged with the loss in Minnesota on Friday, as he surrendered four runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings to fall to 2-3 on the year, while raising his ERA to 4.93.

Holland is 0-1 in two games (one start) against the Jays with a 16.88 ERA. In his only other start against Toronto last August Holland was roughed up for a career-high 10 runs in three innings.

Toronto, meanwhile, will counter with a left-hander of its own in Marc Rzepczynski, who will be throwing on three days' rest for the first time in his career. Rzepczynski did not get a decision on Saturday against the New York Yankees and did not pitch well, as he allowed five runs on six hits and three walks in four innings of his team's 7-5 loss.

"I feel good, and I'm looking forward to getting back out there," said Rzepczynski, who is 1-3 on the year with a 6.62 ERA. "For me, it's changing the routine, backing off some stuff, backing off the lifting a little bit. And my bullpen, I just threw less than normal.

Rzepczynski lost his only other start to the Rangers last September.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.