MLB Baseball

Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Chi White Sox5 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 8100
Seattle0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 161
  W: D. Holland (4-3)   L: C. Heston (0-1)
1:10 PM PT2:10 PM MT3:10 PM CT4:10 PM ET16:10 ET20:10 GMT4:10 1:10 PM MST3:10 PM EST3:40 PM VEN0:10 UAE (+1)3:10 PM CT, May 21, 2017
Safeco Field, Seattle, Washington  Attendance: 36,782

Holland shining for White Sox entering start vs. M's

SEATTLE -- When Derek Holland was weighing his options last winter, a call from Don Cooper helped seal the deal.

"As soon as I started talking to him on the phone, we just clicked," Holland said about his conversation with the longtime Chicago White Sox pitching coach.

Holland, who had spent his entire career with Texas, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with Chicago after the Rangers declined his option.

And he has been worth it to the White Sox so far.

The left-hander is 3-3 with a 2.70 ERA, which ranks eighth in the American League. He has made six quality starts in eight appearances.

"I wouldn't really say there's a secret, I'm just going out there and pitching like I always do," Holland said. "I've just been doing everything that Coop says. He has me standing tall and using my legs better."

White Sox manager Rick Renteria said Holland has delivered exactly what the team was hoping for.

"He's been very effective, eating up some innings, attacking the strike zone, using his pitches effectively and keeping us in the ballgame," Renteria said. "We're just happy he's back on track to be the guy he was in the past."

Holland went 16-5 for the Rangers in 2011, part of a three-year stretch in which he recorded double-digit victories each season. However, the past three years were marred by injuries to both his shoulder and knee, limiting him to a total of 35 starts.

"I've known him since he first signed with Texas," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "He goes right after hitters, and when his secondary pitches are on, he can be really tough.

"He's had some good runs and some not-so-good runs. It looks like he's back."

Holland gives most of the credit for that to Cooper, who seems to be sort of a southpaw whisperer, having tutored the likes of lefties Mark Buehrle, Chris Sale and Jose Quintana in his 16 seasons as the White Sox's pitching coach.

"He's got the track record to show it," Holland said.

That's why Holland finds himself on Chicago's South Side this season. A chance to get his career back on track and perhaps earn another big payday.

Said Renteria: "Coop's an excellent pitching coach and ... when guys come here and are left-handed, for whatever reason, they're able to get themselves in a real good position. Give Coop credit and give those guys credit for going out there and applying it."

Holland is 12-6 with a 3.71 ERA in 25 career appearances (21 starts) against Seattle.

The Mariners announced after the Saturday game that they likely would recall right-hander Chris Heston from Triple-A Tacoma to make the Sunday start.

Heston has appeared in one game for the Mariners this season, allowing five runs on seven hits in two innings on April 25 at Detroit. In six starts at Tacoma, he was 2-1 with a 3.41 ERA.

"We'll see how far he can go," said Servais, who is prepared to use most of his bullpen with only one regular reliever used Saturday night in a 16-1 blowout loss to the White Sox -- utility infielder Mike Freeman pitched the ninth inning -- and a day off Monday.

"Everybody will probably show up if we need them," Servais said.

Heston went 12-11 with a 3.95 ERA in 31 starts for the Giants in 2015. However, he made only four major league appearances, all in relief, for San Francisco in 2016, getting sent to the minors and then missing time due to an oblique injury.

Updated May 21, 2017

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