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Mills continues to tinker with different lineups

Mills continues to tinker with different lineups

HOUSTON -- Through the first 43 games of the season, manager Brad Mills has used 35 different lineups. The last time Mills used the same lineup on back-to-back days was April 22-23.

The fact that Mills uses both of his catchers, Jason Castro and Chris Snyder, contributes to the high number of unique lineups, but Mills said Tuesday that he's adjusting the lineup frequently as his younger hitters reveal their tendencies.

"We'd like to have one lineup, and that'd be it, if we had our choice," Mills said. "There's no doubt."

Tuesday's lineup was one of the most unique of the season. Left fielder J.D. Martinez batted fifth for the first time this season and center fielder Jordan Schafer, returning from a lower leg muscle strain, made his first start in the eight-hole. Right fielder Justin Maxwell batted third for the second time this season.

Mills said the lineup could continue to change throughout the season, depending on how guys swing the bat or what tendencies they show.

"You go through Spring Training and you see one thing, and as you start the season, you go on top of that," Mills said. "You want to try to take care of guys and put them in positions to give them the best chance of success, plus help the ballclub."