Teixeira pens new chapter in rivalry with Padilla
Yankees slugger goes deep off Red Sox right-hander during Boston's win
NEW YORK -- Mark Teixeira's meetings with Vicente Padilla this year have brought no beanings, just huge late-inning hits.
Teixeira ripped a game-tying, two-run homer Saturday night at Yankee Stadium off Padilla, the Red Sox righty whom the Yankees first baseman has publicly labeled a headhunter. It was the second time this season the former teammates -- and as far as baseball goes, worst enemies -- have met, and both times Teixeria came through.
The Yankees lost, 8-6, Saturday, but when Teixeira's two-run shot with one down in the eighth went into the right-field stands, it tied the game at 6. Teixeira appeared to be reveling, taking his time out of the box, holding the bat before breaking into a trot.
Presumably, Teixeira was styling because of all the history between he and Padilla, but said after the game that wasn't so.
"Yeah, it felt good," Teixeira said of his first home run off Padilla in seven years. "I just wanted to make sure it was fair, the ball's been hooking a lot tonight. Curtis [Granderson] hit a few that hooked. Didn't want to waste a lot of energy running out of the box, and if that ball goes foul, it's been a long day. But it felt good."
Teixeira isn't known for flair before he circles the bases. His home run appeared to be a no-doubt shot, going over the wall a couple sections away from the foul pole.
"Just trying to tie the game up there," Teixeira said. "That's the biggest thing ... been a hard fought game, and when you have a chance to tie it with one swing late in the game, you just don't want to miss your pitch."
Said Yankees manager Joe Girardi: "There's some bad blood. [Padilla has] hit him a bunch of times. There's some bad blood. ... Tex really doesn't show a lot of emotion, but it's a big home run during the course of a game in a big series, so maybe that had something to do with it, too."
Perhaps Teixeira's explanation was an attempt to cool the war of words between he and Padilla. Even if Teixeira did admire the blast, the matter already reached a boiling point the last time these two teams met, when Teixeira ripped Padilla as a teammate and Padilla turned around and alleged racial bias.
That came after Teixeira's go-ahead triple in a 10-8 win at Fenway Park on July 6. This all started in 2005, when Teixeira homered off Padilla the first two times they met. Padilla has hit Teixeira three times since. They've faced each other 19 times.
"I think the last at-bat in Boston, it was different," Teixeira said. "There's no problem. He hits me again, there might be a problem. 'Til then, we'll just play baseball, you know."
Padilla, who has a 3.93 ERA, was not interested in speaking to reporters.
"About what?" the reliever said. "One bad day?"
The Yankees gave the Sox the lead back an inning after Teixeira's homer, dampening the impact of his 20th of the season.
"I've always said that Yankee Stadium gets so much more excited for Red Sox games and the place felt like it was shaking," Teixeira said. "So give the fans a lot of credit, they stuck around for a two-hour rain delay. ... At the time it was a big hit."