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Astros bat Springer fourth to jumpstart lineup

OAKLAND -- George Springer found himself in the cleanup spot in manager Bo Porter's lineup Friday in the series opener against the A's in only his third Major League game. Porter admitted it's something he didn't want to do, but he was hoping it could help get the offense rolling.

"I actually wanted to try to prevent it, but I think when you look at our offensive woes, you just try to mix it up," he said.

Porter also had Jose Altuve in the leadoff spot for the first time this year, followed by struggling Dexter Fowler, Jason Castro and Springer. Altuve has batted primarily fourth this season, and Fowler has batted first in the previous 11 games he played in this year.

"Having [Springer] in the No. 2 hole would be ideal, but the fact we're not clicking on all cylinders, he's a guy that can change the game with one swing," Porter said. "By getting Altuve at the top of the lineup, who's swinging the best bat right now, you figure you'll get the guy swinging the bat the best the extra at-bats at this time."

Springer, who was called up Monday night, hit second and third this year at Triple-A Oklahoma City.

"I'm going to treat it the exactly same way," he said. "I like to drive the ball and do some damage, so I'm going to go out and get something good to hit and try to hit it hard."

Springer said he's been leaning on teammates to try to get some scouting reports from the pitchers he hasn't seen before, including Oakland starter Sonny Gray.

"You always want to have more information," Springer said. "Some of the best information comes from just talking to guys like Castro, who has faced him before. He knows what he does, and it's one of those things where you talk to guys that and experience it for myself and go from there."

Brian McTaggart is reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.
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