Wedge rearranges lineup behind Vargas

Wedge rearranges lineup behind Vargas

ARLINGTON -- Mariners manager Eric Wedge juggled his lineup a bit for Thursday's series finale against the Rangers, giving rookie Alex Liddi his first start at third base and Casper Wells his debut in left field.

The two right-handed hitters replaced lefties Dustin Ackley and Michael Saunders, as the two were given a day off against Texas southpaw Derek Holland.

"I planned on doing that from the start of the season against the left-hander," said Wedge. "You've got to play your guys. We've got to get them in there, so this has been the plan all along and I'm looking forward to watching them play. Holland has given us fits here in a short period of time he's been up. Hopefully these guys will help us win a ballgame today."

Holland is 3-0 with 5-1 with a 3.17 ERA in 10 games (six starts) against the Mariners, including 3-0 with a 2.77 ERA in four starts last year.

Ackley and Saunders are facing some "normal leg soreness" from getting back into the grind of playing every day, Wedge said, so they can use the day to rest before Seattle opens its home season Friday against the A's.

Ackley has also been getting back to full speed after missing three days with illness when the team returned from Japan.

"I think he's still working his way back from that," Wedge said. "He's fine, but as I said when it happened, I don't think he had six pounds to lose. But he's OK."

The whole team is ready to get back to Seattle, having been on the road now since Spring Training opened on Feb. 10 in Peoria, Ariz.

"I just have to remember how to get home. It's been two-and-a-half months," said Wedge, who keeps his home on Mercer Island, Wash. "I'm sure everybody is ready to get home. It's been an interesting spring, no doubt about that."