Gagne tosses in straight days for first time in 2 years

FRISCO, Texas -- Texas Rangers closer Eric Gagne threw 17
pitches in another minor league game Saturday night, the first time
in nearly two years the former Cy Young Award winner pitched in
games on consecutive days.

Eric Gagne Gagne

Starting for Double-A Frisco for the second night in a row,
Gagne faced five Arkansas batters and threw 12 strikes while
throwing mostly off-speed pitches. He allowed a solo home run and a
single, and took the loss.

"There was a little stiffness, but it felt good the first time
throwing back to back in two years," Gagne said. "I was trying to
work everything. The curveball and changeup was not as good as
[Friday]. I hit some spots and I missed some spots. These were
positive outings."

While the Rangers insisted he was healthy, Gagne started the
season on the disabled list to get more time to come back from
elbow and back operations that limited him to 15 1-3 innings the
past two seasons. Part of their plan was to have him pitch on
consecutive days.

Gagne, a former Seminole State standout, threw 15 pitches to
three Arkansas batters on Friday night.

The right-hander hadn't pitched on consecutive days since May
26-27, 2005, for the Los Angeles Dodgers. His only two appearances
last season were four days apart in June.

Gagne is scheduled to pitch again Tuesday for Frisco. If all
goes well, he'll then travel with the Rangers on Thursday and be
activated before they begin their weekend series Friday night in

"If things go well and we get him in there Friday, if he
doesn't overexert himself and an opportunity comes up Saturday,
I'll put him in there [again]," Rangers manager Ron Washington
said Saturday before the Rangers played Boston.

Gagne became a free agent when the Dodgers declined to pick up
his $12 million option. The Rangers signed him to a one-year deal
for $6 million with a chance to earn about $5 million in
performance bonuses.