Taylor Teagarden has a sense for the big moment

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Sept. 19, 2012

Say this for Taylor Teagarden, the guy has a sense for the big moment.

The Orioles catcher not named Matt Wieters recorded his third game-winning hit of the season Tuesday night as part of a 4-2 victory against the Mariners in 18 innings. Those three game-winning knocks account for nearly half of his seven total hits in 2012. His first hit as an Oriole was a two-run, walk-off homer against the Tigers July 14.

Teagarden is a .210 career hitter with 18 home runs in 137 career games. Nevertheless, he tends to make sure his hits are memorable ones. His first major league hit was, you guessed it, a home run for the Texas Rangers on July 20, 2008. What's more, that sixth-inning roundtripper broke up a no-hitter by the Twins' Scott Baker and proved to be the difference in a 1-0 Rangers victory.

Despite those heroics, Teagarden didn't play again in the majors in 2008 until September. He responded by homering in five of his first 10 games being back in the majors. Teagarden split time between the minors and majors again in 2010. After receiving a late July call-up, he homered in three times in his first five games for the Rangers. 

Teagarden's big hits are surprising relative to his overall major league numbers at the plate. However, he came to the bigs with an impressive pedigree.

Teagarden was the second-rated catching prospect in the 2005 MLB draft after batting .333 with seven homers, 33 RBI and 22 doubles in 63 games and winning an NCAA championship as a junior at the University of Texas. The Rangers drafted him in the third round with the 99th pick. He hit a tie-breaking double for the United States in the bronze medal game of the 2008 Olympics.

Here's hoping he has more big hits in store for the Orioles this season.

Related reading:

Former Longhorns Quintanilla, Teagarden appear inseparable (The Daily Texan)

Teagarden's first hit leads Rangers past Twins (TSN)

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