HOUSTON, Texas -- Rangers manager Ron Washington is making a change in center field for Game 2 of the season, going with right-handed hitting Craig Gentry on Tuesday night against the Astros.
Gentry is in the No. 9 spot in the lineup against Lucas Harrell, drawing a start against the Astros' right-hander. Left-handed hitting rookie Leonys Martin, Gentry's platoon partner, started the opener Sunday and went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.
Washington said before the game that he had no problem giving Gentry a chance against a right-hander.
"It didn't seem to effect him in spring training," Washington said. "I have no issues whatsoever with Gentry in the lineup tonight against a righty."
Gentry batted .306 in 36 at-bats against right-handers this spring. He had five extra-base hits, including a home run, among his 11 hits. He also had five RBIs.
Gentry hit .277 against right-handers last season in 141 at-bats. He hit .344 against lefties. He did a better getting through pitches this spring, Washington said.
"Last year he would get there and cut his swing off," Washington said. "This year he's getting to the ball and staying through the ball. That's what is helping him generate the little pop he is generating."
Washington said it's his goal to get everyone on the field in the first 10 days of the season. He said he'll do that before the end of the Rangers' upcoming homestand next Wednesday against Tampa.
Rookie reliever Joe Ortiz gave up a run on a pair of two-out hits in his debut Sunday, but Washington was pleased with how the 22-year-old responded in his first Major League outing, getting the final out of the inning. "He's going to give up some hits," Washington said.
"He's going to give up some runs. The the thing about him, what we like more than anything else, is he continued to attack the zone. He didn't back down. It was nice to get him out there and let him see that if you execute, good things will happen."
Washington was invited to see a screening of the new movie "42" about the life of baseball pioneer Jackie Robinson during spring training but was unable to go because of a prior engagement. But he said he will wait and see it on Blu Ray, or maybe on the Rangers' off day in Chicago on April 15. The movie debuts Friday, April 12. Robinson broke the color barrier and played for the Brooklyn Dodgers for the first time on April 15, 1947.
Washington said that he addressed Martin about his failure to run to first base in Sunday's game after he struck out and the pitch got away from Astros catcher Jason Castro.