Notes: Teixeira ties club milestone
Rangers first baseman plays 482nd consecutive game
ARLINGTON -- Mark Teixeira wasn't even sure Saturday was the day."I knew I was close because they show it on the scoreboard once in a while," Teixeira said. "But I didn't know it was today." It was.
Teixeira officially tied Alex Rodriguez's club record by playing in his 482nd consecutive game on Saturday against the Los Angeles Angels. The record falls on Sunday and there's no reason to expect Teixeira to come out of the lineup any time soon."If I can't play, I can't play," Teixeira said. "But if I'm physically ready to play, I'm going to play." Teixeira has reached the point where he doesn't need to look at the lineup card when it's posted in the clubhouse three hours before game time. "I would hope that if I'm not in the lineup, somebody would tell me before then," Teixeira said. "I come to work expecting to play. That's been the case the past few years. I take a lot of pride in the way I condition my body in the offseason and the way I take care of myself during the season. I play through pain. I play through sickness. I'm always there for my team." Teixeira hasn't missed a game since May 20, 2004, when he was hit by a pitch in his left hand and couldn't grip a bat. He has had to deal with some soreness in his left knee this year, but it has not kept him out of the lineup. Teixeira has started 35 games at first base and one at designated hitter. "It slowed me down on the basepaths, but I'm not exactly a speedster anyway," Teixeira said of his knee injury. "When it comes to my game, a little leg soreness is not going to keep me out of the lineup." Teixeira has the second longest streak in the Majors. Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada played in his 1,117th straight game on Saturday. The all-time record is held by former Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken Jr., who played in 2,632 consecutive games. "I have so much respect for Cal Ripken," said Teixeira, who is from the Baltimore area. "I don't know if I'll play that many games, period, and he played in that many games consecutively. I have no goal of reaching that record. It's untouchable." Replacing Ripken: Ripken played in 8,243 consecutive innings from June 5, 1982 to Sept. 14, 1987, which is believed to be another Major League record. The guy who finally gave him one inning off? Rangers manager Ron Washington, who was the Orioles' utility infielder for most of that season under manager Cal Ripken Sr. The date was Sept. 14, 1987, when the Orioles lost to the Toronto Blue Jays, 18-3, at the old Exhibition Stadium. "We were getting whipped by Toronto," Washington said. "We were getting beat so bad, Cal Sr. said, 'Get your glove and get out to shortstop.' I said, 'What about Junior?' He said, 'Don't worry about Junior. I'll handle Junior. Get out to shortstop.' Cal was such a class act. He stayed in the dugout until the game was over." Catalanotto headed for Frisco: The Rangers tried to make the best of Double-A Frisco's strange schedule by sending Frank Catalanotto up there for a rehabilitation assignment on Saturday. The RoughRiders had a game at home on Saturday, but were leaving town afterward for a four-game series in Midland, Texas, on Sunday. "I think it's good to see live pitching, even if it's just one game," Catalanotto said. "You can't simulate that any other way." Catalanotto, sidelined with acute biceps tendinitis, is eligible to come off the disabled list on Tuesday and has not yet begun to throw again. But Washington said the Rangers will consider activating him on Tuesday even if he's not ready to play the field. He has been taking batting practice all week without problems. Ill-timed bobble: The Rangers gave away 20,000 Ian Kinsler Double Play Combo Bobbleheads on Saturday. It was a case of bad timing. Kinsler went into Saturday's game having committed errors in two straight games and four in his last eight games. Washington said Kinsler just needs to focus on making the routine play every time. "Once he gets past that, there's going to be something there that's grand," Washington said. "With young kids, it's something that happens. When they're young, the play they mess up is the routine play. Why? They take it for granted. But the routine play is the one you have to focus on. Outstanding plays don't do anything for me. You just make them. The routine play is tough for young players." He said it: "They're a click away from getting it together. They've got a deep, terrific lineup with some great offensive players. They're going to score some runs. [The division] is going to be neck and neck. Any of the four teams is going to have an opportunity to make a serious run at the division." -- Angels manager Mike Scioscia, on the Rangers Friday's Minor stars
Top performances from the Rangers' four Minor League teams on Friday: Gold: Clinton pitchers Zach Phillips, John Slusarz and Brett Zamzow combined on a seven-hit shutout in a 5-0 victory over Burlington. Silver: Clinton third baseman John Whittleman was 3-for-3 with his sixth home run of the season and is 9-for-19 (.474) with two home runs in his last four games. Bronze: The Oklahoma RedHawks beat Las Vegas, 19-5, and every starter had a multi-hit game. Catcher Miguel Ojeda had four hits, Nate Gold had a grand slam and Desi Relaford had a two-run home run. Up next: Right-hander Mike Wood pitches for the Rangers against Angels right-hander Ervin Santana at 2:05 p.m. CT on Sunday at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. This is likely to be Wood's last start. Kevin Millwood is expected to come off the disabled list and pitch on Monday. Wood replaced Millwood in the rotation.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.