Holland's scoreless string snapped

Streak reaches 21 2/3 innings before sacrifice fly in eighth

Derek Holland leads the Pacific Coast League with an 0.67 ERA. (Wendy Eagan/MiLB.com)

By Robert Emrich / Special to MLB.com | April 23, 2010 8:00 PM ET

Derek Holland may have had an impressive shutout streak going, but you wouldn't know it from talking to him.

Holland extended the streak to 21 2/3 innings before allowing three runs -- one earned -- in the eighth Friday as the Oklahoma City RedHawks dropped a 3-0 decision at Nashville.

The 23-year-old left-hander had not allowed a run since the fifth inning of his first start of the season on April 8 against Albuquerque. He followed that with 7 2/3 scoreless innings against Round Rock on April 13, then blanked Memphis for six frames on April 18.

"I really don't think too much about it once the game is over. I don't sit and think about how sweet it was," Holland said. "It doesn't matter how well I pitched before, I just have to go out there and pitch now."

Holland (2-1) was locked in a scoreless duel with Kameron Loe when he gave up a leadoff single to Joe Koshansky in the eighth. Norris Hopper sacrificed and reached safely on an error by first baseman Chris Davis before Ray Olmedo's bunt single loaded the bases. John Raburn ended the shutout streak and broke the tie with a sacrifice fly and Eric Farris chased Holland with a single.

Luis Cruz and Adam Heether greeted reliever Pedro Strop with back-to-back run-scoring base hits.

A 25th-round pick by Texas in 2006, Holland was 8-13 with a 6.12 ERA for the Rangers last season. He sprained his right knee during Spring Training and was sent to Oklahoma City to begin the season, an assignment he's using to refine his game.

"I learned a lot from being in the big leagues, I just had a knee injury set me back," Holland said. "The main thing for me is to work on my off-speed pitches and just continue to improve myself."

Holland credited a strong mental approach for his hot start, during which he has an 0.67 ERA and 21 strikeouts over 27 innings.

"Basically, it's just going after the hitters and not showing the hitters any fear and continuing to mix speeds and attack the zone," he explained.

Holland was bested by Loe (2-1), who pitched for Texas from 2004-08. The 28-year-old right-hander scattered six hits and struck out four over eight innings before Chris Smith fanned one in a perfect ninth for his Pacific Coast League-leading sixth save.

Robert Emrich is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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