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Washington giving Baker playing time vs. left-handers

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ANAHEIM -- Rangers manager Ron Washington said utility player Jeff Baker will likely be in the lineup on Tuesday with left-hander Jason Vargas on the mound for the Angels. Baker, a right-handed hitter, is 5-for-14 (.357) this season and has good career numbers against left-handers.

Baker could play either left field or first base because David Murphy and Mitch Moreland, both left-handed hitters, are struggling against southpaws. Murphy is 4-for-18 and Moreland is 1-for-18 against lefties this season. Baker is 4-for-10 and has the only home run off a lefty by a Rangers hitter this season.

"It's more of a reflection of Jeff Baker," Washington said. "I've got a right-handed bat who can hit left-handers. I've got to find a way to get him in there. He deserves to get at-bats."

Murphy is 1-for-19 against Vargas in his career while Moreland is 1-for-11. Washington may fall back to where he uses Baker for Murphy on some nights when there is a left-hander on the mound and for Moreland on other nights.

"That's the way I've done it so far," Washington said.

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.

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