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Butler gets first start with lefty on hill for Astros

HOUSTON -- Outfielder Joey Butler, who was called up from Triple-A Round Rock on Monday, was in the lineup for the first time on Friday night with left-hander Erik Bedard on the mound for the Astros.

Butler was hitting .321 off left-handers at Triple-A before being called up. Butler grew up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and his family was coming to the game on Friday night.

"I'm very excited," Butler said. "It means a lot ... my first start, pretty exciting."

Butler made his Major League debut on Wednesday night when he pinch-hit in the ninth inning against Angels left-hander Nick Maronde. He lined out to second base.

The Rangers have to make a roster move on Saturday to make room for Alex Rios and will likely send either Butler or Engel Beltre back to Round Rock. Butler may be the one staying since he hits right-handed. Rios will play every day in right field, so Butler may end up playing left field instead of David Murphy when there are left-handers on the mound.

"He'll play tonight and then we'll make a decision tomorrow," Rangers manager Ron Washington said.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger.
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