"I wasn't sharp," Holland said. "I didn't feel tired or anything, I just didn't have good command of the baseball and I made some mistakes I shouldn't have made. I felt pretty good today."
So did Kelvin Herrera, who bailed left-hander Scott Downs out of a seventh-inning jam. Downs gave up a walk and a single and Herrera was summoned. It was a move that manager Ned Yost really didn't want to make with switch-hitter Carlos Santana at bat.
"I was really trying to get Scott Downs to get one of those two guys out because Santana's been so hot left-handed," Yost said. "I was going to have Downs face him in that situation. And then if they pinch-hit for [Chris] Dickerson, I was going to have Kelvin ready to come in there. But when the first two guys got on, I had to bring Kel in and he did a phenomenal job of holding the fort right there."
Santana, who was 6-for-9 with three homers in this series to that point, popped out to shortstop.
"He's been making good swings on us the whole series," Herrera said. "I just tried to throw the ball down and away to him because I didn't want him to pull the ball. I didn't leave anything in the middle."
Then, Herrera retired Dickerson and Nick Swisher, sending the game to Wade Davis and Holland. Davis survived two baserunners in the eighth and extended his scoreless streak to 11 innings.
"Our bullpen guys right now are going above and beyond the call of duty," Yost said. "Holly's been in three out of four [games], Wade's been in three out of four and they came in with great stuff."
When Holland finished up, the run he allowed in the opener was the only run the bullpen has surrendered in the last 26 innings over the last week.
"We're supporting our starting pitchers and our team from the bullpen," Herrera said, "and that makes me proud."
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.