Teagarden to see increase in action

Teagarden to see increase in action

ARLINGTON -- After Thursday's game against the Astros, Taylor Teagarden will have made his last three starts with Vicente Padilla starting. Rangers fans shouldn't expect this trend to continue.

"I'm going to try and get Teagarden in a couple more games a week," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "As it starts to heat up, we need to get him in there a little more."

Jarrod Saltalamacchia has started 48 of the Rangers' first 63 games and is hitting .257 with five home runs. Teagarden is hitting .241 with no home runs this season.

Washington said Teagarden worked well with Padilla his last two starts, helping the pitcher work through tough times. He also said he doesn't plan to pair any catcher with any pitcher this season.

"If a guy is a good catcher, a good game-caller, I don't think it matters," he said. "At least that's my opinion. It's not that I'm making it like [having a catcher paired with a certain pitcher]."

Despite starting in Padilla's two previous games and being expected to play when Padilla starts Thursday, Teagarden dismisses the thought of intentionally being paired with Padilla.

"It might appear that way," Teagarden said. "I don't think pitchers ask for a certain catcher. I just catch when they need me to catch."

Pitching matchup
TEX: RHP Vicente Padilla (5-3, 4.82 ERA)
Padilla needed 108 pitches to get through five innings as the bullpen came through to complete an eight-hit shutout of the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday. Padilla threw 71 pitches for strikes, 39 were foul balls. He threw his curveball and slider for strikes. Padilla has bounced back from being place on waivers by winning consecutive games against two of baseball's best teams, Boston and Los Angeles. He has won four of his past five starts, going 4-1 with a 3.82 ERA over that stretch.

HOU: RHP Brandon Backe (0-0, 12.00 ERA)
With Mike Hampton going on the disabled list with a strained left groin following Tuesday's game, Backe will get the chance to make his first start of the season. Backe struggled as a starter last year, going 9-14 with a 6.05 ERA in 31 starts in his first full season since undergoing Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery. He led the league in earned runs (112) and home runs (36), but missed two months when he injured a ribcage muscle in early March. As a reliever this year, Backe has pitched nine innings in four games and allowed 17 hits and 12 runs while striking out 10 batters. He's 1-2 with a 7.77 ERA in six career games (three starts) against the Rangers.

Ian Kinsler became the third Ranger to hit a home run in both the first and second inning in a game. He did so on April 25 at Baltimore and June 16 versus the Astros. The other two Senators/Rangers to accomplish this feat were Carl Everett (Aug. 1, 2002, vs. the Red Sox) and Mark Teixeira (June 18, 2005, vs. the Nationals). ... Willie Eyre pitched the eighth inning as part of a rehab assignment for the Rangers' Triple-A Oklahoma City squad Tuesday. He allowed two hits, one earned run and one walk on 20 pitches, throwing 12 strikes. Eyre also struck out two and is eligible to come off the disabled list on Monday. ... The Rangers are 26-6 when they score first in games this season. ... The Rangers are 8-3 in starts by Padilla this season.

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Up next
• Friday: Rangers (Scott Feldman, 5-1, 3.70) at Giants (Randy Johnson, 6-5, 4.89), 9:15 p.m. CT
• Saturday: Rangers (Derek Holland, 1-4, 6.63) at Giants (Matt Cain, 9-1, 2.39), 8:05 p.m. CT
• Sunday: Rangers (Kevin Millwood, 7-4, 2.62) at Giants (Barry Zito, 3-7, 4.72), 3:05 p.m. CT

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