SEATTLE Manager Ron Washington has put his unofficial No. 1 catcher in the Texas Rangers’ lineup for Saturday as they look to pull even with Seattle in the three-game series at Safeco Field.
Robinson Chirinos, whose 10-2 record when he starts a game is the best mark by a position player in the American League, will be behind the plate and at the bottom of the Rangers’ order. He caught all three games in Oakland, all three of them victories, but was given a day off Friday as the Rangers dropped the opener to the Mariners 6-5.
Chirinos has outplayed J.P. Arencibia in all facets. Chirinos has a 2.17 ERA, more than 3 1/2 runs better than Arencibia, and has thrown out 4 for 10 base stealers, twice as many as Arencibia. Though Chirinos is batting only .205, Arencibia is hitting just .094.
The Rangers will face Felix Hernandez, who has not recorded a win against the Rangers in his past six starts.
Rangers lineup vs. RHP Felix Hernandez: Michael Choice, lf; Elvis Andrus, ss; Prince Fielder, dh; Adrian Beltre, 3b; Alex Rios, rf; Mitch Moreland, 1b; Donnie Murphy, 2b; Leonys Martin, cf; Robinson Chirinos, c.
Mariners lineup vs. RHP Colby Lewis: Michael Saunders, rf; Abraham Almonte, cf; Robinson Cano, 2b; Corey Hart, dh; Kyle Seager, 3b; Justin Smoak, 1b; Dustin Ackley, lf; Mike Zunino, c; Brad Miller, ss.