ARLINGTON -- Ryan Garko, the Rangers' right-handed-hitting backup first baseman, also made his first start on Thursday. He was at first base in place of Chris Davis, a left-handed hitter, with lefty Ricky Romero on the mound.
Manager Ron Washington is not going to platoon his first basemen, but he does know he will need Garko during the season. Their American League West opponents have some good left-handers in their rotations even if Scott Kazmir of the Angels and Cliff Lee of the Mariners are on the disabled list.
The Angels still have Joe Saunders in their rotation, the Mariners have left-handers Jason Vargas and Ryan Rowland-Smith currently in their rotation and the Athletics have Brett Anderson, Gio Gonzalez and Dallas Braden.
"That's why I've got to keep [Garko] going," Washington said. "He can hit. I have to use the assets that I have."