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Rangers Vs. Royals: Saturday Lineups

Per Calvin Watkins, ESPN.

Texas vs. RHP Sean O'Sullivan

  1. 2B Ian Kinsler
  2. SS Elvis Andrus
  3. LF Josh Hamilton
  4. DH Michael Young
  5. 3B Adrian Beltre
  6. RF Nelson Cruz
  7. 1B Mitch Moreland
  8. C Mike Napoli
  9. CF Endy Chavez

Kansas City vs. LHP Matt Harrison

  1. LF Alex Gordon
  2. CF Melky Cabrera
  3. 1B Eric Hosmer
  4. RF Jeff Francoeur
  5. DH Billy Butler
  6. 3B Wilson Betemit
  7. 2B Mike Aviles
  8. C Matt Treanor
  9. SS Alcides Escobar

Josh Hamilton returns to the field for the first time since his injury, improving the defense by moving Nelson Cruz to his natural position, and taking Mitch Moreland out of the outfield. The Rangers likely have deemed Hamilton healthy enough to move away from designated hitter.

Also improving the defense is the replacement of David Murphy with Endy Chavez. No word yet on whether or not Murphy's two defensive gaffes in the first inning Friday played a factor in the decision, or if it is just a regular day off. The answer will probably come tomorrow.

Chavez is likely a solid step behind Craig Gentry as a fielder at this point, but with a right hander on the mound, the lefty Chavez represents likely a sizable offensive upgrade over the righty Gentry, and, unlike Murphy, he can handle center.

Yorvit Torrealba also gets a day off tonight in favor of Mike Napoli's superior bat.

Of note, the Royals top three -- who killed the Rangers in Friday's loss -- offer a strong platoon advantage for Matt Harrison, with two lefties and one switch hitter, Melky Cabrera, who hits better from the left side of the plate. Kansas City's other switch hitter, Wilson Betemit, also struggles more against left handed pitching than the reverse.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.