Moreland not in starting lineup, Baker takes spot

Moreland not in starting lineup, Baker takes spot

ARLINGTON -- Mitch Moreland was out of the lineup on Wednesday for the first time since April 19. Manager Ron Washington just decided it was time for Moreland to get a day off, and Jeff Baker started at first base and hit seventh.

Baker went 1-for-3 in the 3-1 win over Oakland. Moreland entered as a defensive replacement in the eighth but didn't get an at-bat.

"A day off is fine," Moreland said. "Skip talked to me a little bit. I have been playing a good bit lately and we want to rest my legs."

Washington could have waited until Friday when the Rangers face left-hander Joe Saunders. But Washington has confidence in Moreland's ability to hit both left and right-handed pitching so he decided to sit him Wednesday afternoon in front of Thursday's off-day.

"In his situation, I think there's a little fatigue," Washington said. "The way he's hitting left-handers, I'll let him have that left-hander on Friday and maybe that will lock him in."

Moreland is hitting .274 with a .452 slugging percentage against left-handers and .299 with a .639 slugging percentage against right-handers.

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.