Garcia get first start as Washington switches lineup

Garcia get first start as Washington switches lineup

SEATTLE -- With left-hander Joe Saunders pitching for the Mariners, manager Ron Washington switched his lineup on Saturday. Lance Berkman and Mitch Moreland were given the night off, while Jeff Baker started at first base, Elvis Andrus was used at designated hitter and Leury Garcia made his first Major League start. He was at shortstop.

"With the left-hander going, I wanted to get a couple more [right-handed hitters] in there," Washington said. The manager added that Berkman was available to pinch-hit.

Washington also moved A.J. Pierzynski into the No. 5 spot in the lineup, with David Murphy dropping to No. 7. Pierzynski went into the game hitting .382 with two home runs in 10 games, while Murphy was hitting .167. Murphy has a career .230 batting average and .389 slugging percentage in April, well below his overall career .283 batting average and .451 slugging percentage.

"Regardless of how I start, I feel like I'm always trying to find my feel in April," Murphy said. "This is no different. I don't feel terrible, but I don't feel great either. I've hit a lot of balls hard at some people and that can make a difference in a small sample. But I'm having one or two good at-bats in a game rather than three or four and that's what I'm looking for."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.