Convinced he was being thrown at, Teixeira followed with a slide at second that sent shortstop Elvis Andrus(notes) flying and sparked the Yankees in a seven-run fourth inning. New York coasted past the Texas Rangers 12-3 Tuesday night to take over best record in the American League at 31-21.
“We did the talking with our bats,” Teixeira said.
When Teixeira faced Padilla (3-3) for the first time on June 9, 2005, he homered in the first and third innings during Texas’ 10-8 loss at Philadelphia, then was hit by a pitch in the fifth.
“Every time I’ve faced him since, there seem to be balls near my head, near my body, and today I got hit twice,” Teixeira said. “Not the right way to play the game. Unfortunately, you know, that guy has been doing it his whole career.”
Teixeira said he even talked to Padilla about it when they were together on the Rangers in 2006-07.
“There’s really no reason for it in baseball. You know, if you can’t get a guy out, don’t hit him. You know, if you don’t want to pitch to a guy, then, you know, put four fingers out there and walk him,” Teixeira said. “And, unfortunately, when I was a teammate, it happened a lot where he would hit guys, and the 3-4 hitters, those are the guys that got hit for retaliation, and I got hit plenty of times.”
Asked what he would say if Teixeira accused him, Padilla denied any sinister intent.
“I think that is unfair,” Padilla responded through a translator. “I have runners on first and third. Why would I do that? The answer is that it’s stupid if he thinks it was an intentional pitch.”
Rangers manager Ron Washington defended his pitcher, who was activated before the game and allowed seven runs, seven hits and four walks in 3 2-3 innings.
“I guess he was trying to get inside on him, keep him from diving over the plate,” Washington said.
A.J. Burnett(notes) (4-2) beat Texas for the second time in a week, allowing three runs and eight hits in seven innings and striking out eight. He threw a pitch over the head of Nelson Cruz(notes) in the fifth that sent the cleanup hitter sprawling, prompting plate umpire Doug Eddings to warn both dugouts. Cruz had put the Rangers ahead 3-2 with a three-run homer in the third.
“I got to pitch in,” Burnett said. “Warnings are warnings, man. It doesn’t bother me.”
But Teixeira hinted there was more to it.
“I think there was a little message sent,” he said.
“I just wanted to make sure nothing escalated,” Girardi said. “You don’t like seeing your guys get plunked, especially twice by the same guy.”
Alex Rodriguez(notes) then grounded to second baseman Ian Kinsler(notes), who flipped to Andrus for the forceout at second. Teixeira didn’t slide far off the line, but clipped Andrus enough to cause a bounced throw that A-Rod beat to avoid a double play.
Jeter came home from third for a 4-3 lead and joined Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Mickey Mantle as the only Yankees with 1,500 runs. The only other active players to reach the mark are Rodriguez, Ken Griffey Jr.(notes) and Gary Sheffield(notes).
“That’s just good, hard baseball,” Girardi said. “That’s the way you’re supposed to play the game.”
“We could have come off the field at 4-3, which is a tremendous difference from the way it actually was,” Washington said.
New York has won 16 of 20 to reach 10 games over .500, a mark the Yankees didn’t achieve until their 100th game last year.
“When we win games,” Teixeira said, “I get fired up.”
There has been at least one homer in all 24 games at the Yankee Stadium, two more than San Juan’s Hiram Bithorn Stadium for the longest streak at the start of a big league ballpark. The 90 homers are one shy of the record for most in the first 24 games at a major league park, set at Houston’s Enron Field in 2000, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. … New York’s record-setting errorless streak ended at 18 games when Posada threw the ball into center field on Andrus’ fourth-inning steal of second base.