ARLINGTON -- Rangers manager Ron Washington loaded up his lineup with right-handed hitters for Friday's American League Wild Card game against left-hander Joe Saunders and the Orioles.
The lineup included Geovany Soto at catcher, Mike Napoli at designated hitter, Michael Young at first base and Craig Gentry in center field. Josh Hamilton, who was in left field, was the only left-handed hitter in the Rangers' lineup. David Murphy and Mitch Moreland were on the bench. Murphy had been playing against left-handers for most of the second half but finished the regular season with five hits in his last 30 at-bats.
"He's not swinging the bat like he was," Washington said. "The main thing is getting those young legs in -- Gentry running balls down in center field -- and putting as many right-handed hitters as possible in there against Saunders."
During the regular season, Saunders held left-handed hitters to a .199 batting average, while right-handers hit .307 off him.
Murphy is 0-for-4 in his career off Saunders, while Gentry has never faced him. Neither has Napoli, who played with Saunders while they were with the Angels. Soto is 4-for-6 with a home run.