Teagarden homer powers Rangers over Baker, TwinsJul 20, 2008 - 10:27 PM MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Rookie Taylor Teagarden finished off his big week with a big home run.
Teagarden broke up Scott Baker's perfect game with a solo homer - his first major league hit - in the sixth inning to lift the Texas Rangers to a 1-0 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday.
Vicente Padilla tossed seven scoreless innings, allowing three hits and walking two without a strikeout for the Rangers, who managed just three hits.
"It's obvious the job that Teagarden did, it goes along with the job that Padilla did," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "(Teagarden) has done nothing since he has been up here but impress people."
A third-round draft pick in 2005 from the University of Texas, Teagarden was part of the Futures Game in Yankee Stadium last Sunday. On Thursday, he was named to the U.S. Olympic team that will compete in Beijing in August.
Teagarden, who was promoted from Class AAA Oklahoma City on Friday, nailed a 3-2 pitch 382 feet to center field as Texas salvaged the finale of the three-game set.
"I was obviously honored to be (selected to the Futures Game), last time at Yankee Stadium," Teagarden said. "And then obviously, the chance to play on the last Olympic team is a huge honor. But when I got called to come up here, it was by far the best feeling out of all three, without a doubt."
Padilla (11-5), who was activated from the disabled list prior to the game, hurled seven innings, yielding just three hits. Eddie Guardado pitched the eighth, and C. J. Wilson closed it out for his 23rd save in 25 chances.
Baker was just as strong for Minnesota.
Teagarden's homer was the only blemish in a stellar outing for Baker (6-3), who was perfect through 5 2/3 innings, allowing two hits and a walk. The righthander struck out eight but had a personal four-game winning streak snapped.
It wasn't the first time Baker had been perfect into the sixth. Last August, the righthander entered the ninth inning with a perfect game intact against the Kansas City Royals, before finishing with a one-hit shutout.
"The only thing I know is I hadn't pitched out of the stretch," Baker said. "That is the one thing I am aware of, and that entails you haven't given up any hits or walked anybody. It quite wasn't to that point yet, but it's a lot of fun. I just tried to execute pitches, that is the whole objective."
Before hitting the 15-day disabled list on July 5 with neck stiffness, Padilla had lost two straight, surrendering at least seven hits and seven runs in each outing. In this one, though, Minnesota never had a runner in scoring position against the righthander.
"I was throwing the pitches when I wanted," Padilla said through an interpreter. "I had my fastball as I used to have it, and they were making swings on it. So, that's why it made me feel better. I had a lot of luck also with the plays they made on defense. They were making plays behind me."
Padilla didn't record a strikeout but did get 11 groundball outs.
Minnesota did threaten in the bottom of the ninth, when Joe Mauer walked with two outs and went to third on a wild pitch. But Wilson then got Justin Morneau to ground out to end the game.
Despite the loss, the Twins have picked up right where they left off before the All-Star break last week. Minnesota has won nine of its last 10 series, sweeping five of them. The Twins are 24-7 - the most wins in baseball during that stretch - since June 13.
"We didn't get it done today," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We didn't come up with the big hit, and they pitched very, very well. We won two out of three, but very disappointing when you get a good start like that and you don't win the ballgame."
Meanwhile, Texas came in as the top-hitting team in baseball with a league-leading .283 average and 538 runs. The Rangers scored three runs in the series and were shut out on Friday for the first time this season.
Now the question is if Teagarden will get to continue to help the Rangers. Called up because Jarrod Saltalamacchia has been ill, Teagarden might be returned to Class AAA on Monday or Tuesday if Saltalamacchia is deemed ready.
However, a demotion wouldn't be too devastating for Teagarden. Any player on a major league active roster is not eligible to play in the Olympics. Being returned to Oklahoma City will give the catcher the chance to compete for Team USA.
"I am going to keep playing as long as they want me here," Teagarden said. "I don't know what the rotation is with catchers, or what the situation is. I am just going to keep playing hard and doing what they want of me.
"Whatever decision they want to make is fine with me."
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
- - - - - - - - - - - -
TEXAS 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 3 0
MINNESOTA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 (FINAL)
BATTERIES: TEX - VICENTE PADILLA, EDDIE GUARDADO (8TH), C.J. WILSON (9TH) AND
MIN - SCOTT BAKER, JOE NATHAN (9TH) AND JOE MAUER
HOME RUNS: TEX - TAYLOR TEAG
Jul 20 4:35 PM
AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
SOLO HOME RUN BY TAYLOR TEAGARDEN (1) TO CENTER WITH 2 OUT
IN THE 6TH OFF SCOTT BAKER.
CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1, MINNESOTA 0
DUE UP FOR TEXAS: I KINSLER (.328, 0-FOR-2)
Rangers 1, Twins 0 Top 6, 0 OutsJul 20 3:23 PM
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