Red-hot Napoli gets start over Moreland

Red-hot Napoli gets start over Moreland

Red-hot Napoli gets start over Moreland
ARLINGTON -- Rangers manager Ron Washington trotted out a lineup on Friday that included Mike Napoli and Yorvit Torrealba, but was missing slumping first baseman Mitch Moreland.

Washington said it was more that he wanted to put the red-hot Napoli in the lineup than to send a message to Moreland.

"I had to get Napoli in the lineup," Washington said. "There's a lefty throwing [Blue Jays starter Jo-Jo Reyes], so I had to get Napoli in there against that lefty. [Torrealba] had yesterday off, so [he's] catching and Napoli's at first base."

Napoli is riding a hot streak, as he went 8-for-14 with a home run and two doubles in four games on the road trip. For the season, he's been especially effective against lefties, hitting .313 with a .719 slugging percentage in 64 at-bats against them.

Moreland sat for two games on July 4-5, but after getting four hits in his first two games back, he has struggled, going 4-for-32 in eight games since July 9.

Washington did not rule out having to give Moreland more rest to try to regain the stroke that had him batting .310 through the team's first 64 games.

"There will probably come a point where I will do that for Moreland, but today wasn't that day," Washington said.

"Today was a day that he was going to have to take off anyway, simply because I had to shuffle the lineup to get Napoli in."