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07/03/07 9:27 PM ET

Notes: Teixeira to return after break

Club expects slugger to return day after All-Star break

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers expect first baseman Mark Teixeira to be ready July 13, the first game after the All-Star break. Teixeira has been on the disabled list with a strained left quadriceps muscle since June 9.

"I could probably play this week, but we just want to make sure its right," Teixeira said. "The key is to make sure you're 100 percent when you come back and that's what we're doing. I'm swinging every day and it feels good."

Teixeira will go on a rehab assignment, possibly as early as Friday, and continue through the All-Star break before he rejoins the team.

"We want to make sure when he does come back we can have him for the rest of the year, not just one day," manager Ron Washington said. "We want him to get some at-bats. When he's [back], we want him to be the threat that he is."

Teixeira said he is enjoying the Rangers' recent string of success while he's been out. The team is 12-9, batting .273 with 5.6 runs per game since he went on the DL.

"I love what our pitching is doing," he said. "We always fight. Whether we have to squeeze it out or not. We've been doing really well."

Padilla, Otsuka update: Vicente Padilla threw 60 pitches off flat ground Tuesday, up to 100 feet with 60 percent effort.

"He had little pain and it went good," pitching coach Mark Connor said. "We'll get after it again [Wednesday] and build it up day-by-day."

Padilla will throw the same flat-ground exercise Wednesday, and will not pitch off a mound until Saturday or Sunday. Padilla went on the disabled list June 25 with triceps inflammation behind his right elbow.

Akinori Otsuka was unavailable Tuesday, but Washington plans to have his reliever back Wednesday and use him before the All-Star break.

"We still got six games and we're trying to win as many as we can," Washington said. "To do that, we need Aki."

Gagne still has it: Entering Tuesday's game, closer Eric Gagne was a perfect 10-for-10 in save opportunities with a 1.11 ERA. Gagne missed nearly two years with injuries before signing with Texas this off-season.

"I knew I could do it, I just had to prove to everybody else," he said. "For me, the last month has been incredible."

Gagne signed a one-year deal, but has repeatedly said he'd like to stay with the Rangers despite trade rumors.

"I love the group of guys, everyone has been real nice and it's a learning process to win," he said. "The city took me by surprise, I was expecting it to be more like Oklahoma City."

Washington said: "He's very important to where we're trying to go. I'd like to give him the ball in the ninth. I know there will be people knocking on our doors, but they haven't put an 'X' by our name yet."

Reed signs: Third round selection Evan Reed, a right-hander out of Cal Poly, was in town Tuesday for a physical. The physical went well and he has signed a contract with the Rangers.

The Rangers signed three more of their Draft picks Tuesday as well: Outfielder Tim Smith, a seventh round selection out of Arizona State; shortstop Jacob Kaase, a 23rd round pick out of Texas Lutheran University; and left-hander Anton Maxwell, a 31st round pick out of Oregon State.

Rangers promos: Following Wednesday's Fourth of the July game, the Rangers will have an extended Independence Day Fireworks Show. Before the game, there will be a B-52 flyover. Also during the month of July, fans that purchase at least $50 in merchandise at the new Texas Rangers Dallas store will receive a voucher for two free tickets to an upcoming Rangers game.

He Said It: "He got lucky. I didn't care because it didn't count. When I was pitching I didn't want him to hit a home run, but he knows he got lucky." -- Gagne, joking about Hank Blalock's 2003 All-Star Game two-run, game-winning pinch hit home run. Gagne and Blalock's lockers are next to each other.

Briefly: Arizona League catcher Cristian Santana fractured his thumb last week and is out 4-6 weeks. ... Triple-A Oklahoma pitcher Mike Wood was named a Pacific Coast League All-Star. ... Outfielder Craig Gentry has been activated off the DL at Class A Clinton

Monday's Minor League stars:
Gold: Triple-A Oklahoma outfielder Jason Botts stretched his hitting streak to 15 games, after going 2-for-4 with three RBIs and two doubles in the RedHawks loss to Omaha, 3-2. Botts leads the Pacific Coast League with 32 doubles this season.

Silver: John Mayberry went 3-for-4 with a home run, two RBIs and two runs scored leading Double-A Frisco over Springfield, 8-3. Right-hander Edinson Volquez improved to 7-0 after allowing three runs on five hits in five innings pitched.

Bronze: Catcher Taylor Teagarden went 2-for-4, rising his average to .329, as Class A Bakersfield fell to Visalia in an 11-inning game, 5-4.

Up next: Texas hosts Anaheim in game two of the three-game series on Wednesday at 7:35 p.m. CT at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Right-hander Jamey Wright takes the mound for the Rangers against right-hander Jered Weaver of the Angels

Drew Davison is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.