Padilla poised for Rangers debut

Padilla poised for Rangers debut

The Rangers play their first night game of the season on Tuesday, but there is nothing unusual about them playing under the lights and out of the Texas heat. Since the Rangers came to Texas in 1972, they have played 4,143 night games -- both home and away -- the most by any Major League team.

The Angels are second with 3,930 night games. The Rangers were 52-59 at night in 2005, both home and away.

They are 0-1 in the day after a 7-3 loss to the Red Sox on Monday, and are actually looking forward to getting under the lights.

"It's more normal for us," first baseman Mark Teixeira said. "We're not used to day games. It's good to get back out here at night and get back to a normal schedule."

The Rangers wouldn't mind a little shift in the wind, too. Normally the wind blows in from the south, then whips around toward right field, creating favorable hitting conditions.

For Monday's home opener, the wind came in from the north and didn't create the same jet-stream effect.

"I like it when it's normal around here," Teixeira said. "I'll take every advantage that I can get."

Pitching matchup
BOS: RHP Tim Wakefield (16-12, 4.15 ERA in 2005)
He was the Red Sox Pitcher of the Year in 2005, leading the club in wins, starts, innings pitched, strikeouts and complete games. Opponents hit .245 off him last year, sixth lowest in the American League.

TEX: RHP Vicente Padilla (9-12, 4.71 ERA in 2005)
Padilla was 0-2 with a 4.32 in four "A" games this spring. This will be his first start as an American Leaguer. In his career he is 5-6 with a 5.48 ERA in 19 games, including 1o starts, against the American League.

Player to Watch
Wakefield has been known to baffle opponents, but the Rangers have had better success than most against him. Wakefield is 7-12 with a 5.95 ERA against the Rangers, his highest against any American League team.

Rangers designated hitter Phil Nevin has had the most success against Wakefield, going 6-for-16 with a two home runs and two walks against him in his career. Kevin Mench is 5-for-14 with two doubles and a home run against him, and Rod Barajas and Laynce Nix are both 4-for-12.

Michael Young, Teixeira and Hank Blalock, though, are a combined 16-for-66 off him with just two home runs and 12 strikeouts.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• kdfi-Ch. 27

On radio
• KRLD 1080 AM; 1270 AM(Español)

Up next
• Wednesday: Red Sox (Josh Beckett, 15-8, 3.38 ERA in 2005) at Rangers (Kameron Loe, 9-6, 3.34 ERA in 2005), 7:05 p.m. CT
• Thursday: Tigers (Nate Robertson, 7-16, 4.48 ERA in 2005) at Rangers (R.A. Dickey, 1-2, 6.67 ERA in 2005), 7:05 p.m. CT
• Friday: Tigers (Mike Maroth 14-14, 4.74 ERA in 2005) at Rangers (John Koronka, 1-2, 7.47 ERA in 2005), 7:05 p.m. CT

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.