Kinsler makes first start of season at leadoff

Kinsler makes first start of season at leadoff

TORONTO -- Second baseman Ian Kinsler, who participated in all three games vs. the Twins over the weekend after missing 33 contests with a strained left groin muscle, was slotted in the leadoff spot in Monday's series opener against the Blue Jays.

It marked the first time all season Kinsler has hit in that position, but with the injury to regular leadoff man Elvis Andrus, manager Ron Washington thought it was the most appropriate move under the circumstances.

"It depends on who I have in the lineup," said Washington, as to whether the change would be a fixture until Andrus' return, likely later this week. "If I'm playing [Cristian Guzman] on a certain [day], I'll put Guzman up there. Today the way the lineup shook out, Kinsler was my perfect choice."

Kinsler, who has hit in the No. 3 spot consistently this year, has led off 259 games over the course of his five-year career. Washington noted that Kinsler would return to batting third after garnering a few more reps after returning from injury.

"I just don't feel like he's totally there yet, as far as having at-bats since coming off the disabled list," Washington said. "He'll go up there and still show you the good eye. He sees a pitch he likes, he can get you one run."

Washington anticipates Andrus (strained right hamstring) returning sometime between Wednesday and Friday. However, with the harsh turf at Rogers Centre, the Rangers skipper said he might hold the young shortstop back an extra day or two.