Texas (14-12) at Tampa Bay (11-15)

Fair Currently: St. Petersburg, FL
Temp: 73° F
  • Game info: 7:15 pm EDT Tue May 2, 2006
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Robinson Tejeda doesn’t think he’s inconsistent, even if his old team—and his record—might indicate otherwise.

Tejeda looks to prove the Texas Rangers’ investment in him was worthwhile when he makes his first start with his new team against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Tuesday.

The rookie was traded at the start of the season by the Philadelphia Phillies after an uneven 2005 major league debut. Tejeda was 4-3 last year with a 3.57 ERA in 26 games, including 13 starts. As a starter he was 3-3 with a 2.87 ERA, which led Phillies general manager Pat Gillick to refer to the pitcher as “inconsistent.”

Tejeda, however, points to the fact that he had only two starts in which he gave up more than two runs.

“I pitched in 26 games, and I only had two bad starts,” the rookie said. “How can he say that I was inconsistent?”

His five appearances in Triple-A Oklahoma, however, have been just that. The 24-year-old right-hander was 0-2 with a 5.33 ERA in the minor leagues, but pitched seven scoreless innings in his last start.

Tejeda has a tough act to follow after an excellent game by Kameron Loe in Monday’s series opener. Loe retired the first 14 Tampa Bay batters he faced, giving up only four hits in the Rangers 3-0 win. He became the final member of Texas’ season-opening rotation to record a victory.

Kevin Mench, who was named AL co-Player of the Week on Monday, was 0-for-4, ending a 14-game hitting streak. Mench homered in seven straight games in late April, including one in each of the three games against the Devil Rays less than two weeks ago.

Texas (14-12) has now won three straight games. Monday marked the first time Tampa Bay (11-15) has been shut out this season.

Mark Hendrickson (1-1, 0.00) hopes that he has fully recovered from the shoulder tightness that put him on the 15-day DL after his first start this year. The left-hander returned last Thursday at the New York Yankees, giving up three runs and four hits in six innings of a 4-1 loss.

“I felt good out there,” Hendrickson said. “I think the key for me now is how I bounce back, recover. How I throw my side. It’s probably going to take a couple of starts to get back to the routine of 100-plus pitches and bouncing back to where I feel strong.

“Today, I maybe wasn’t as sharp as I would have liked to have been with all my pitches like I was in Baltimore, but as a starter I’m going to find what pitches are working. Today, it was the changeup. I threw that a lot more than I probably did the first outing. But that’s what I’ve got to do. Make adjustments, find out what’s working and do what I can.”

Hendrickson is 1-1 lifetime against the Rangers with a 9.00 ERA.

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Starting Pitchers

R. Tejeda Cle vs. M. Hendrickson Bal
5-5 Record 6-15
4.28 ERA 4.21
40 K 99
32 BB 62
1.56 WHIP 1.43