Napoli starts at DH after missing one game

Napoli starts at DH after missing one game

ARLINGTON -- Mike Napoli missed Wednesday's win over the Red Sox with tightness in his left quad but was back in the lineup starting at designated hitter and batting seventh in Friday's series opener against the White Sox.

Napoli sustained the injury while running to first base in the third of inning of Tuesday's game when he grounded into a double play. He finished the game and drew walks in his next two plate appearances but did not advance to second base either time. Napoli has not run since then but is expected to catch the last two games of the series against the White Sox this weekend.

"I was running down the line and my quad just tightened up on me," Napoli said. "It's a little sore but I don't think it's really anything serious. I haven't run on it since. It doesn't bother me walking on it or anything. But I wasn't sprinting on my off-day. I was relaxing."

Manager Ron Washington said that had the Rangers not had an off-day before Friday's game, Napoli would have started at first base and Michael Young would have started at designated hitter. Now, Napoli will go three straight days without starting behind the plate.

"I'd rather have Napoli DH," Washington said. "He'll be back [at catcher] tomorrow and Sunday. If I had to make a choice between putting him at first or putting Michael at first, I think Michael is the better first baseman. Michael seems to be more engaged when I've got him on the field."