ST. PETERSBURG -- Manager Ron Washington made a small change in his planned Game 2 lineup against the Rays on Thursday. He decided to start Josh Hamilton in center field and go with Julio Borbon in left field.
Washington made the change because he wanted to take advantage of Hamilton's strong arm in center field and possibly cut down the Rays' chances of going from first to third. Hamilton started in center in Game 1 and Washington liked what he saw.
"He played the heck out of center field," Washington said. "They are a team that likes to take liberties, and putting him out there might prevent them from taking liberties. The ball gets to you quicker here on this turf, so there is a better opportunity to make a play. His arm in center field plays here."
Washington said if they were at the Ballpark in Arlington, he would be more inclined to go with Borbon in center field and Hamilton in left.
Washington still went with Matt Treanor at catcher as planned, even though Bengie Molina had three hits, including a home run, in Game 1. Washington wants to keep both catchers "engaged," as he did during the regular season.
"That's what we did and that's what we're going to do," Washington said.