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."
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.
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."
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.