Derek Holland should have been out of the fourth inning. It seemed baby simple.
After a rocky first inning and a worrisome second inning -- during which the Rays scored just one run -- Holland cruised through the third, retiring Tampa Bay's 3-4-5 hitters in order, and needing only eight pitches. The pitcher who tied for the American League in shutouts this season seemed back on track.
Maybe he was. In the fourth, Holland quickly retired Rangers-killer Kelly Shoppach and Sean Rodriguez, before Casey Kotchman swung hard but managed only to dribble a soft chopper toward shortstop, but well within Holland's range from the mound.
Holland got to the ball in good shape, gathered it in, and fired a seed in the dirt toward first base, where Mitch Moreland couldn't make the scoop. Kotchman sprinted to second base, but that extra base seemed moot a moment later.
Holland should have been out of the inning. Instead he threw a bunch of breaking balls out of the zone to All-Star Matt Joyce, fell behind in the count, and threw a fastball down the pipe that Joyce destroyed for a two-run home run off the facade of the upper deck in right field.
Rays 3, Rangers 0