ARLINGTON -- Sammy Sosa was available on Sunday but not in the lineup after getting hit in the head with a pitch and leaving Saturday's game in the third inning. It's the second time Sosa has been hit in the head with a pitch this year, but he said this wasn't as bad. Sosa said this pitch glanced off his shoulder first before hitting him in the helmet and that took some of the blow. "I'll be all right," Sosa said. "The good guy in the movie never dies."
Sosa was still given Sunday night off by manager Ron Washington but is expected to start on Monday and in both games of Tuesday's doubleheader against the Seattle Mariners. The Rangers are facing left-handers in all three games and Sosa is hitting .329 against lefties this year. Sosa had to leave Saturday's game on a night in which he was honored by the Rangers for his 600th home run. Hall of Famer Juan Marichal, former Rangers outfielder Rico Carty and actor Vin Diesel were all on hand Saturday night to honor Sosa in pre-game ceremonies. "Besides getting hit, everything was awesome," Sosa said. "My mother was here, my family, that was pretty special last night. I want to make sure I thank everyone. That really made me feel great." Man of the One Thousand Games: Michael Young started at shortstop on Sunday, marking his 1,000th game in the Major Leagues. Young made his debut with the Rangers on Sept. 29, 2000 and is the eighth player in club history to appear in 1,000 games. "My first goal every year is to make sure I'm healthy and that the guys know I'll be there every day," Young said. "From that regard, this is significant but I've still got a long ways to go in my career." Young said his most memorable game was on Sept. 23, 2004 when the Rangers, trailing 4-2, scored three in the bottom of the ninth to defeat the Oakland Athletics, 5-4, in the heat of a pennant race. Young had a double in the inning and scored on David Dellucci's game-winning two-run double. "That was probably the most fun I've ever had in a game," Young said. As for the next 1,000 games, Young said he's expecting, "A lot more wins than the first 1,000 games. That's all I'm playing for." Pitching decisions: The Rangers could have some interesting pitching decisions as they prepare for a doubleheader with the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday as well as a day off on the schedule both Thursday and Monday. * Because of the off-days, the Rangers could go with four starters until Aug. 4 against the Toronto Blue Jays. That could mean optioning Robinson Tejeda to Triple-A Oklahoma. * The Rangers could also skip Jamey Wright but it's likely that they'll want him to make at least one more start before the July 31 trade deadline. That would be an attempt to create some trade interest but there is none right now. * Left-handed reliever A.J. Murray could be called up for the second game of Tuesday's doubleheader. John Rheinecker (4-2, 3.57 ERA in nine starts at Oklahoma) will be called up to start Game 1. Hairston sits in slump: Jerry Hairston was in the original lineup for Sunday's game but was taken out after Kenny Lofton told manager Ron Washington that he was ready to go. Lofton missed Saturday's game with a bruised right big toe but said he was fine on Sunday. Hairston went into Sunday's game in an 0-for-13 slump and was hitting .113 in his last 18 games. He admitted he might be pressing. "I do try too hard, but that's a fine line," Hairston said. "People say I'm pressing, but what am I supposed to do? Not try? It's not like I can take a recliner up there and relax, you know? ... I know it's there and it's going to come. But, I grew up with [the mindset] that you've always got to bring something to the table. I'm never going to let my hitting affect my defense." He said it: "Cal is obviously deserving. He was a great teammate, one of the hardest workers, and he never took anything for granted. I learned an awful lot from him, an awful lot." -- Hairston on former teammate Cal Ripken Jr., who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday. Saturday's Minor League stars: Gold: Double-A Frisco starter Armando Galarraga threw a two-hit complete game shutout in the first game of a doubleheader against San Antonio. Galarraga had nine strikeouts in the seven-inning game. Jim Fasano went 3-for-3 with a double and two runs scored. Silver: Kasey Kiker allowed three runs on five hits as Class A Clinton lost to Cedar Rapids, 6-4. Kiker took the lead into the seventh inning but the bullpen couldn't hold it. Bronze: Right-hander Eric Hurley allowed three runs on six hits through six innings as Triple-A Oklahoma lost to Round Rock, 9-3. Hurley had six strikeouts. Up next: Right-hander Kevin Millwood pitches for the Rangers against left-hander Horacio Ramirez for the Seattle Mariners in the first game of a four-game series at 7:35 p.m. Monday at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.