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Teixeira still not a fan of Padilla

Posted by Alex Prewitt  July 7, 2012 12:40 AM

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He wore a sly smile and kept things quite politically correct given the circumstances, but one thing was certain: besting Vicente Padilla could not have felt better.

Mark Teixeira and Padilla have engaged in a well-publicized feud over the years. On June 9, 2005, Teixeira, then with the Rangers, hit two homers in his first two career at-bats off Padilla, and got plunked in his third. In 17 career plate appearances against the righthander, Teixeira has been hit three times, and says Padilla has thrown at his teammates "a lot more than that."

But Friday's series opener at Fenway was different. With the Sox up, 7-6, in the top of the seventh and runners on first and second, manager Bobby Valentine summoned Padilla from the bullpen to face Teixeira.

Teixeira ripped a two-run triple into the center field triangle, scoring Curtis Granderson and Alex Rodriguez and giving the Yankees an 8-7 lead. New York wound up with a 10-8 win, and Teixeira finished 2 for 4 with 4 RBIs, two runs scored and only his second stolen base this season.

"Game-winning hits always feel good, but that one definitely felt real good," Teixeira said. "I was making some jokes. I've got to get in line. He doesn't have a lot of friends in the game."

Not usually such an animated talker, Teixeira did not mince words when almost the entirety of his postgame press conference centered on his rocky relationship with Padilla.

"In the NFL, he'd probably be suspended by Roger Goodell eight games or the whole season," Teixeira said. "But this is baseball.

"No one else does this. That's the thing that's unbelievable me. No one else in baseball does this. Whether he's changed his ways or whatever, I hope he does, and that's great because he's a great pitcher. The guy's got really good stuff. It'd be nice just to talk to him as a baseball player, and not just someone who throws at people."

Padilla, who recorded just one out and got his second blown save of the season, had left the Sox clubhouse by the time reporters arrived. Valentine had little to say about any personal strife between the two players.

"He had gotten him out a lot more than he had gotten hit off him. Heís been pitching so well," Valentine said. "I didnít care about the personal stuff. I knew he was 2 for 10 with a couple of home runs. But that wasnít this year with the way Padillaís been throwing."

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