The changeup continued its comeback with Texas Rangers left-hander Derek Holland on Monday.

Holland mixed in about 15 changeups in 81 pitches during a six-inning performance against San Diego. Holland gave up all three runs in a 3-1 loss, but the effectiveness of the changeup was the most important development for the Rangers.

The changeup was Holland’s best pitch when he arrived from the minors in 2009, but he has strayed from it in recent seasons. The Rangers want Holland to use the changeup more often, manager Ron Washington said.

Holland said he got away from the changeup last season because he lacked a feel for the pitch and could not get the required speed difference from his fastball. A good changeup should be at least 10 mph less than the fastball.

“I feel real good with it now,” Holland said.

This was Holland’s first appearance against a major league team for the Rangers since Feb. 28. In the interim, he made two appearances with Team USA as part of the World Baseball Classic. That experience was helpful, Holland said.

“It definitely got me prepared for the season,” said Holland, who threw an additional 20 pitches in the bullpen. “I feel a lot better than I was last year.”