© 2009 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

04/10/09 1:08 PM ET

Rangers ride Byrd's hot bat

Left fielder makes third start in four games this season

DETROIT -- Marlon Byrd, after finishing strong in Spring Training, is off to a nice start to the regular season, and manager Ron Washington isn't about to waste it.

Byrd was in the lineup for the second straight game, and third time in four games, for the Rangers against the Tigers on Friday afternoon. Byrd started in place of David Murphy in left field even though the Rangers were facing a right-handed starter for the second straight game.

"You can't pull him," Washington said. "You've got to ride that hot bat."

Byrd was 2-for-5 with a double and a home run against the Indians on Thursday afternoon. He was 1-for-4 with a double in the first game on Monday. Murphy, who normally starts against right-handers, was 0-for-3 with a walk in his only start on Wednesday.

"Murphy is going to play," Washington said. "We've only played four games. We're just starting out. Marlon is swinging the bat well, so I decided to play him against [Tigers starter Armando] Galarraga."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.