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Blalock activated from DL, in Friday's starting lineup for Rangers

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Texas Rangers came out of the All-Star
break on Friday with a familiar face playing a familiar position.

Hank Blalock was activated from the disabled list and returned
to his original position of third base.

Blalock, a former All-Star at third base who has played that
position his entire career with Texas, was scheduled to make the
switch to first base when he returned from the DL.

But Chris Davis has emerged as a power threat at first base for
the Rangers, with six homers and a .655 slugging percentage in 58
at-bats. So the Rangers asked Blalock to return to his old
position, and Blalock was back at third base for Friday night's
game against the Minnesota Twins.

"I hope it will be easy. I can't predict how I will play over
there," Blalock said. "I know I've played plenty of games over
there, to where it is a comfortable position for me. I'm going to
work hard to get the rust off, and go play the second half just
like I never made the transition."

Blalock first went on the disabled list after tearing his left
hamstring while running out a double against the Twins on April 25.
He also had surgery to relieve carpal tunnel syndrome in his right
hand, and his stay on the sidelines was extended when he had a
setback during a rehab start with Triple-A Oklahoma.

The return of Blalock, who has hit .299 with three homers and
seven RBIs in 22 games this season, is a big boost for the Rangers.
They are 43-30 since April 25, the third-best record in the majors
over that span, but still trail the Angels by 7½ games in the AL
West.

The Rangers also purchased the contract of catcher Taylor
Teagarden from Triple-A Oklahoma on Friday, and manager Ron
Washington threw the rookie right into the lineup to catch Kevin
Millwood.

"I wanted to get his feet wet as quick as I possibly can,"
Washington said. "What better way than to go out there and catch a
veteran?"

Teagarden was selected to the Team USA roster to compete in the
Beijing Olympics, but Washington and the Rangers may have other
plans for him.

"I would like to see him go to the Olympics," Washington said.
"But if we have a need for him, sorry."

To make room for Blalock and Teagarden, the Rangers optioned
right-hander Kameron Loe to Triple-A Oklahoma and designated
right-hander Joselo Diaz for assignment.

Loe made one appearance in his second callup, giving up three
runs in two innings of a 9-7 loss to the White Sox on July 11.

Diaz also made his lone appearance of the season in that game,
and the Rangers have 10 days to trade, release or outright him to
the minors.