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Rangers' World Series Rotation Set

By STEPHEN HAWKINS
|  Tuesday, Oct 26, 2010  |  Updated 9:00 AM CDT
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Rangers' World Series Rotation Set

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NEW YORK - OCTOBER 18: Cliff Lee #33 of the Texas Rangers throws a pitch against the New York Yankees in Game Three of the ALCS during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at Yankee Stadium on October 18, 2010 in New York, New York. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Cliff Lee

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Ace left-hander Cliff Lee will be followed in the Texas Rangers' rotation at the World Series by C.J. Wilson, Colby Lewis and Tommy Hunter.

Manager Ron Washington had already confirmed Lee as the Game 1 starter, but didn't give his expected order until arriving Monday in San Francisco. He said he expects Hunter to remain the fourth starter.

There had been some thought that left-hander Derek Holland (1-0, 2.61 ERA in four postseason appearances), who has been solid out of the bullpen in the playoffs, could take over the starting spot for Hunter (0-1, 6.14 ERA).

"Holland has done a great job out of the bullpen," Washington said. "He can go against left-handers or right-handers. He fits good out of the bullpen."

Washington also said slugger Vladimir Guerrero, the Rangers' designated hitter, will start in right field for Game 1 on Wednesday in San Francisco, and could start Game 2 as well. Nelson Cruz moves to left field with David Murphy and Jeff Francoeur available off the bench.

The pitching matchup for Game 1 involves both 2008 Cy Young winners, Lee vs. Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum. Another Rangers left-hander goes against another Giants righty in Game 2 when Wilson faces Matt Cain.

That puts Lewis and Hunter, the Rangers' right-handers, in line to start Games 3 and 4 in Texas this weekend.

While the Giants have a lineup predominantly filled with right-handed hitters, they hit .251 vs. left-handers and .259 vs. right-handers.

Guerrero played 18 games in the outfield for the Rangers this season. He hit .300 with 29 homers and 115 RBIs in the regular season, and has hit .267 with no homers and four RBIs in the playoffs.

"My concern is Vlad's offense. I'm trying to keep that in there," Washington said. "His presence, I'm trying to keep in there. ... Vlad played the outfield for us a few times, he hasn't hurt us. He knows what he's doing. I feel comfortable putting him out there, he works every day at it."

This will be the first World Series for Guerrero in his 15 major league seasons.

Guerrero was chosen Monday the AL comeback player of the year in the Players Choice Awards conducted by the Major League Baseball Players Association.

The Rangers signed the 35-year-old Guerrero after the Los Angeles Angels showed little interest in retaining the former American League MVP and eight-time All-Star (he made it nine with Texas) after he had two stints on the disabled list for a torn right pectoral muscle and strained left knee during the 2009 season.

Guerrero got a one-year contract with the Rangers that guaranteed him $6.5 million and includes a mutual option for 2011. He had the joined the Angels in 2004, two years after their World Series championship.

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