Texas first baseman Mark Teixeira is establishing himself as one of the best sluggers in baseball.
After hitting his 100th career homer, Teixeira looks to lead the Rangers to a three-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins at the Metrodome.
Teixeira hit a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the ninth inning of Tuesday’s 10-7 win over the Twins, becoming just the fifth player in major league history to hit 100 in his first three seasons. Only Joe DiMaggio, Ralph Kiner, Eddie Mathews and Albert Pujols have also accomplished the feat.
“Any time you get named in a list like that, it’s very humbling,” Teixeira said. “You see the careers those guys have had, and the career Pujols is going to have, it’s nice to be a part of that group.”
Teixeira hit the homer off Minnesota closer Joe Nathan, who blew a 7-6 lead after the Twins rallied from a 5-0 deficit. Nathan, dominant for two months following the All-Star break, gave up the tying run in the top of the ninth in a win over Cleveland on Saturday, and surrendered a homer to Ben Broussard before getting his 35th save on Sunday.
Tuesday’s loss was Minnesota’s first in 53 games when leading after eight innings.
“I feel great,” Nathan said. “Right now, it’s just location. I’ve left some balls over the plate the last couple of outings.”
“I’m proud of the guys,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “To come back from 5-0, we lost the game, but we put up a pretty good fight. But that’s not what we need right now. We need wins.”
Minnesota starter Brad Radke will square off against Texas’ Chris Young on Wednesday for the second time this season. Radke allowed two runs and seven hits in seven innings to earn a 5-2 win on May 15, while Young gave up two runs and seven hits in five innings without receiving a decision.