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Notes: Teixeira warming up slowly

Notes: Teixeira warming up slowly

CHICAGO -- Mark Teixeira is not off to a great start but he still commands respect around the league.

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen confirmed that when he walked Teixeira intentionally in the eighth inning of Tuesday's game to pitch to Sammy Sosa.

"I thought if it was a closer score, I would have expected that," Teixeira said. "But with a four-run lead (5-1), I expected them to pitch to me."

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The White Sox did not, even though Teixeira went into Wednesday's game hitting .213 with no home runs and two RBIs. His only extra-base hit has been a double.

"I feel good, it's just a little timing to work out," Teixeira said. "It usually takes me longer to get going because I'm a switch-hitting power hitter. Switch-hitting power hitters usually take longer. It'll take me a few more at-bats to get comfortable."

Apparently Hall of Fame switch-hitter Eddie Murray was the same way. He had a career average of .271 with a .435 slugging percentage in April, the lowest for any month in his career. Overall, he hit .287 with a .476 slugging percentage in his career.

"It's tough to judge off of two weeks," Teixeira said. "I need to step it up, but a lot of guys do. I think you'll see us start scoring runs like we're capable of soon."

What will be interesting is to see what happens to Teixeira if Sosa starts taking off as he is threatening to do. Sosa went into Wednesday's game hitting .313 with two home runs and seven RBI in his last four games.

"It would be huge," Teixeira said. "It would be huge for the whole lineup. I'd welcome somebody hitting behind me to go on a tear because I'll get better pitches to hit."

Sosa made Guillen look bad when he hit a three-run home run. But Guillen said he has no regrets about the move.

"I love it when Sammy hits a home run," Guillen said. "He gets closer to 700 and being a Hall of Famer. He proved me wrong last night. I like that. But as long as Mr. Teixeira hits [ahead] of Sammy, Sammy will [have to] beat me."

Wilkerson examined: Outfielder Brad Wilkerson had what was described as a "small" cortisone shot in order to relieve the pain and discomfort in his left knee and avoid going on the disabled list.

"In the next couple of days, if it doesn't get better, we might have to [go on the DL]," Wilkerson said. "But I'm not thinking about that right now. I'm hoping we caught this early."

Wilkerson had the same problem in Spring Training and he let it linger for 7-10 days. He's trying to get this discomfort calmed down immediately. It was described to him as a situation where inflammation causes bone to catch bone in his knee.

"I think it's very minor and we can get it calmed down quickly," Wilkerson said.

Harden out, Hernandez in: The Rangers will not have to face Oakland right-hander Rich Harden during their three-game series with the Athletics that starts on Friday at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

But they are scheduled to face Seattle right-hander Felix Hernandez on Monday.

Harden was scheduled to pitch on Saturday against Kameron Loe but has been pushed back because of some shoulder stiffness. He will be replaced by left-hander Joe Kennedy. Harden is 5-2 with a 3.73 ERA in his career against the Rangers.

Hernandez, the 21-year-old phenom for the Mariners, started on Wednesday against Minnesota, which puts him in line to make his next start against the Rangers. He is 2-4 with a 5.44 ERA in his career against them.

Guillen incident: Guillen said Tuesday night that Sosa "better be ready to hit" if first base is open and Teixeira is up.

But at one point he slipped and said, "Sammy better be ready to get hit."

The totally inadvertant remark was played on television and radio in Chicago all day Wednesday, causing a huge stir. But the Rangers knew Guillen didn't mean it.

"That's not Ozzie," manager Ron Washington said.

"That was misinterpreted," Sosa said. "He didn't mean it that way. There's nothing to worry about. I talked to him already."

He said it: "I'm over-thinking. When you're struggling, you start thinking too much rather than letting your natural ability take over. You guess on pitches and swing too hard. You put too much on 'Get a hit, get a hit, get a hit,' rather than have good at-bats and let the results take care of themselves." -- Catcher Gerald Laird

Tuesday's Minor stars: Top performances on Tuesday from the Rangers' Minor League teams.

Gold: Frisco right-hander Eric Hurley improved his record to 2-0 with a 0.98 ERA in a 5-2 victory over Springfield. He went 7 1/3 innings and allowed one run on two hits. He struck out six and did not walk a batter.

Silver: Frisco outfielder Kevin West went 4-for-4 with a home run.

Bronze: Triple-A Oklahoma outfielder Victor Diaz was 3-for-4 with a run scored in a 5-4 victory over Nashville and is now hitting .409 on the season.

Briefly: Eric Gagne went into Wednesday's game not having pitched since Friday and Washington wanted to make sure he pitched. Said Washington, "I don't want anybody sitting four days." ... Second baseman Ian Kinsler went into Wednesday's game needing two home runs in 14 games to tie the club record for most in April. Ivan Rodriguez (2000), Alex Rodriguez (2002) and Carl Everett (2003) all hit nine in April. ... Outfielder Anthony Webster has been assigned from extended Spring training to Double-A Frisco. ... Infielder Jose Morban has been released from Oklahoma.

Up next: Right-hander Vicente Padilla tries to snap a three-game losing streak when he pitches against the White Sox at 7:11 p.m. CT on Thursday at U.S. Cellular Field. Right-hander Javier Vazquez will pitch for the White Sox.

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

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