Notes: Teixeira's streak continues
Texas first baseman in 502nd straight game despite concussion
SEATTLE -- Mark Teixeira's streak marches on.Teixeira was in the Rangers' lineup on Saturday for the 502nd straight game despite getting hit by a thrown baseball in Friday's game against the Seattle Mariners. X-rays were negative, but Teixeira left the game because of some dizziness, putting his club record for consecutive games played in doubt. But Teixeira put himself through a 20-minute workout when he got to Safeco Field on Saturday and was fine. "The swelling went down, no problem," Teixeira said. "The dizziness was all temporary. I just got shook up a little bit, but after icing it down and relaxing, it was fine." Teixeira was sliding into home plate trying to score on Marlon Byrd's single when he got hit as the throw from center fielder Ichiro Suzuki short-hopped catcher Kenji Johjima and got past him. "He hit me pretty good," Teixeira said. "He dotted me up pretty good." Teixeira was diagnosed with a mild concussion but said, "I think they throw the word concussion around pretty liberally. I've got my head knocked around playing basketball, soccer and back-yard football. I've definitely had this happen before in my life." Teixeira said there have been other times when the streak was in more jeopardy of coming to an end. The closest was last year, when he caught a scorching line drive in the palm of his hand and had to spend the next day as the designated hitter. "This was easy," Teixeira said. "That was tough. There have been times when I've had the flu and come to the park not feeling great and sucked it up. This is one where you shake it off and go out and play. I feel 10 times better playing than when I was sick." Gagne stays sharp: Eric Gagne picked up a save on Friday night, holding off the Mariners in the ninth inning to preserve the Rangers' 9-8 victory. It was his fourth save of the season, tying Akinori Otsuka for the club lead. It was also his second save in a week, the first time this season he has had two saves inside of one week. He and Otsuka are tied for 13th in the American League in saves. Mariano Rivera of the Yankees also has four. Ten teams in the league have a reliever with at least 10 saves. "It's all right," Gagne said. "I'm not worried about saves, I'm worried about wins. We need to get back to playing our game, or rather start playing our game. "The one thing I've learned in my career is saves come in bunches. You might go two weeks and get one, then have a stretch where you have three in a row, take a day off and then have two more. You still have to stay mentally sharp." Gagne, going into Saturday's game, still has a 0.75 ERA, the lowest in the American League for any pitcher with at least 12 innings. Outfield watch: Victor Diaz and Marlon Byrd continue to push Nelson Cruz aside in the Rangers' outfield picture. Both had three hits on Friday, and manager Ron Washington made it clear both will be in the lineup on Sunday. Cruz may be in the lineup as well, but only if Washington gives Sammy Sosa and/or Kenny Lofton a day off. He is thinking about it. "I certainly want to get [Cruz] in there, but I'm definitely getting Byrd and Diaz in there," Washington said. "The separation is starting. All those guys are big-league players. There's supposed to be competition." That still doesn't bode well for Cruz when outfielders start coming off the disabled list, but Washington said, "We haven't made that decision right now. ... I can't answer that right now." McCarthy watch: Brandon McCarthy threw 28 pitches off flat ground on Saturday and had no problems with the blister on his right middle finger. He will throw in the bullpen on Sunday. If that goes well, the next step will be a simulated game on Tuesday and then a start against the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday. He said it: "I don't know what's going on with him. I haven't seen him since Spring Training, and in Spring Training I didn't see him." -- Washington, on injured shortstop Joaquin Arias, who still hasn't played in a Minor League game Friday's Minor stars:
Gold: Triple-A Oklahoma first baseman Nate Gold was 2-for-3 with his seventh home run of the year in a 7-5 loss to Salt Lake City.Silver: Reliever Danny Touchet threw four scoreless innings in relief, allowing one hit, in Class A Bakersfield's 5-4 victory over San Jose. Bronze: Chris Kemp was 2-for-4 with a game-winning, ninth-inning single for Bakersfield. Briefly: Teixeira was named the Rangers' Player of the Month for May after hitting .348 with seven home runs and 27 RBIs. ... The Rangers' 23 at-bats with runners in scoring position on Friday was a season-high. The club record is 25 on Aug. 19, 1974, against Detroit. Up next: Right-hander Robinson Tejeda pitches for the Rangers in the finale of the four-game series against the Mariners at 3:05 p.m. CT on Sunday at Safeco Field. Left-hander Ryan Feierabend pitches for the Mariners.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.