SEATTLE Leonys Martin was the Texas Rangers’ leadoff hitter Saturday at Safeco Field, but manager Ron Washington said that isn’t a reflection on the performance of rookie Michael Choice.
Washington wanted to give Choice a day to clear his head after going 0 for 4 Friday against Felix Hernandez. Choice could very well be the Rangers’ leadoff man again Sunday, but so could Martin as the Rangers try to find a player who will make the leadoff spot work.
Choice is riding an 0-for-15 skid and has only one his in his past 24 at-bats to drop his average to .194. Martin entered Saturday with one hit in his past 16 at-bats and was 2 for 18 with eight strikeouts in his past seven games.
Shin-Soo Choo had been the Rangers’ leadoff man the majority of the season, but he has been batting third since it was revealed that Mitch Moreland needed ankle surgery.
“I don’t have a leadoff guy,” Washington said. “We’re not playing fantasy baseball. I’ve got to put somebody in the spot.”
Rangers lineup vs. RHP Erasmo Ramirez: Leonys Martin, cf; Elvis Andrus, dh; Shin-Soo Choo, lf; Adrian Beltre, 3b; Alex Rios, rf; Brad Snyder, 1b; Robinson Chirinos, c; Luis Sardinas, ss; Rougned Odor, 2b.
Mariners lineup vs. LHP Joe Saunders: James Jones, cf; Cole Gillespie, lf; Robinson Cano, 2b; Jesus Montero, dh; Logan Morrison, 1b; John Buck, c; Kyle Seager, 3b; Stefan Romero, rf; Willie Bloomquist, ss.