Holland, Desmond star in win over Cubs

Holland, Desmond star in win over Cubs

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Derek Holland, in a nice spring pitching duel against Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks, pitched five scoreless innings in the Rangers' 5-0 victory over the Cubs on Wednesday afternoon.

Holland, who had a 3.75 spring ERA going into the game, allowed four hits and a walk while striking out seven. He threw 61 pitches in becoming the first Rangers starting pitcher to go five innings in a game this spring.

"The main thing was to execute my pitches and be quick," said Holland. "I don't think my tempo was where it should be before. It was too slow. I was very confident with the way my pitches were working [today], and I was very happy with the result. I kept my defense on their toes, so my tempo was perfect."

Desmond's RBI triple

Hendricks pitched four scoreless innings before giving up two runs with two outs in the fifth. Hanser Alberto doubled and then scored on a triple by Ian Desmond. Prince Fielder's single brought home Desmond.

• Pair of plays shows Desmond's comfort in OF

Fielder's RBI single

Hendricks, pitching against the organization that originally drafted him, allowed seven hits, walked one and struck out five. He threw 83 pitches and now has a 1.89 ERA for the spring.

With one week left in Arizona, what's Hendricks' approach?

"I'm trying to take these starts as if they are the [regular] season, because I'm somewhat of a slow starter," Hendricks said. "I'm trying to get a couple real starts under my belt, per se, to have that mindset. I went out today and I'm trying to have that thought. Overall, I was happy about it."

This spring, Hendricks has had much higher strikeout totals than usual.

"The changeup was working today," he said. "When the changeup is working, that kind of follows. The pitch count got up because of it. There were a few situations where I did need a ground ball and I made a good ground-ball pitch. I'm still trying to pitch to contact."

Matt Bush tossed two scoreless innings for the Rangers, with two strikeouts.

Kyle Schwarber had two of the Cubs' five hits -- all singles.

Up next for Rangers: The Rangers have a split-squad doubleheader on Thursday. Chi Chi Gonzalez pitches against the Reds at 3:05 p.m. CT in Surprise, and A.J. Griffin pitches against the Athletics at 9:05 p.m. in Mesa. Outfielders Shin-Soo Choo and Drew Stubbs will be among those who are making the trip to Mesa. Andrew Faulkner, Sam Dyson and Jake Diekman are pitching behind Gonzalez in Surprise.

Listen to both games with Gameday Audio.

Up next for Cubs: National League Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta will make his third Cactus League start on Thursday when the Cubs travel to Scottsdale to face the Giants. Expect several of the regulars like Jason Heyward, Dexter Fowler and Anthony Rizzo in the lineup. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. CT.

Watch the action live on MLB.TV.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.