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Tejada up to move to stay in Houston

Tejada up to move to stay in Houston

MILWAUKEE -- Astros shortstop Miguel Tejada said he would be more than willing to move to third base next year if it helps his chances of returning to the club for the 2010 season.

Tejada, who has never played third base in the Major Leagues and hasn't been approached by the Astros about switching, is a free agent at the end of the season and wants to remain in Houston. He would likely have to take a sizable pay cut from the $14 million he made this year.

The Astros have talked internally about moving him to third base if he re-signs, but general manager Ed Wade has said previously he wouldn't want to ask Tejada to move to third when he's in the final year of a contract.

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Tejada, 35, entered Saturday leading the National League in multi-hit games and was tied for first in hits.

"They've never asked me," Tejada said. "One thing that I always say is that I want to stay on this team. I don't want to go anywhere else. If the Astros let me [go], I definitely have to go. There's nothing I can do. For me, the change of position is not that big of a deal. I've been playing for a long, long time at shortstop, and if the Astros decide to move me [to third base] I'll be honored to do it.

"I know there's going to be somebody that's a younger shortstop, and probably the team can be better if I move to third base. I always say, the door is open for anything. I'm a free agent this year, and I can play third base and I can play short. I just want to win, and if somebody thinks they can win with me at third base, I'm very honored to move to third and work hard."

Tejada has played third base during winter ball in the Dominican Republic, and he was the third baseman for the Dominicans in this year's World Baseball Classic. The Astros have a platoon of Geoff Blum and Jeff Keppinger at third, with Aaron Boone due to return in September from heart surgery.

Houston will be looking to upgrade at third base in the offseason, and re-signing Tejada as a third baseman could open the door for defensive wizard Tommy Manzella, currently at Triple-A Round Rock, to get his turn at shortstop.

Tejada said he feels loyalty to the Astros for standing behind him during his offseason troubles, which included a guilty plea for lying to Congress about performance-enhancing drugs.

"If they want me to stay here, I'll definitely stay here," he said. "We have to work out something. Like I've always said, I think all the support the team has given to me in the offseason and all the response I got from the fans and the players and the organization means a lot to me. And I want to give a championship to the Astros. That's why I want to stay here and win here. When I see the team win the trophy, I want to be party of it."

Pitching matchup
HOU: RHP Roy Oswalt (6-4, 3.87 ERA)
Making his first start since straining his left lower back July 28 and missing two weeks, Oswalt gave up nine hits and six runs against the Marlins on Tuesday, receiving no decision. It's the third time this season he's allowed six runs in a start. He had allowed seven runs combined in his previous four starts. Oswalt is 0-1 with a 4.26 ERA in one start against the Brewers this year, allowing 10 hits and three runs in 6 1/3 innings. Oswalt is 13-8 with a 3.62 ERA in 26 career starts against the Brewers, including 5-6 with a 5.19 ERA in 13 starts at Miller Park.

MIL: RHP Braden Looper (10-6, 4.99 ERA)
Looper was unable to make it out of the fifth inning in his last start, leaving with the bases loaded. The bullpen imploded after his exit in a loss to the Padres. Looper is 7-6 with a 3.73 ERA against Houston in his career in 39 appearances, nine starts. He was roughed up by the Astros the last time he faced them, in 2008, giving up eight runs on 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings.

Tidbits
Second baseman Kazuo Matsui snapped an 0-for-8 slump with a first-inning single Saturday. It was his 2,000th career hit combined between Japan and the U.S. ... Right-hander Doug Brocail, on the disabled list with a right shoulder strain, threw 30 pitches in the bullpen prior to Saturday's game. ... First baseman Lance Berkman had reached base safely via a hit or walk in 21 consecutive games entering Saturday, but that streak came to an end with an 0-for-4 night.

Tickets
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On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• FS-H

On radio
• KTRH 740, KLAT 1010 (Español)

Up next
• Monday: Off-day
• Tuesday: Astros (Bud Norris, 3-0, 3.00) vs. Marlins (Ricky Nolasco, 8-8, 5.44), 7:05 p.m. CT
• Wednesday: Astros (Mike Hampton, 7-10, 5.30) vs. Marlins (Sean West, 4-4, 4.57), 7:05 p.m. CT

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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