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10/12/11 1:30 AM ET

Torrealba makes most of rare start

Rangers catcher records three hits in Game 3 loss

DETROIT -- Yorvit Torrealba wasn't guaranteed a start in the American League Championship Series with the Tigers planning to use four right-handed starters, but when an opportunity came his way in Game 3 on Tuesday night, the catcher delivered a perfect night at the plate.

Giving starter Mike Napoli a night off behind the dish, Torrealba recorded a hit in all three of his plate appearances during the Rangers' 5-2 loss, singling in the second and fifth innings before doubling to left in the eighth.

Finding at-bats for Torrealba, who went 0-for-3 in the AL Division Series against the Rays, hasn't been an easy task for manager Ron Washington, but the skipper opted to start Napoli at designated hitter on Tuesday and give Torrealba an opportunity.

"Yorvit played a big part of where we are," Washington said before the game. "I haven't had an opportunity to get him in the game. ... This is my chance to get him in there."

Torrealba tallied three of the Rangers' seven hits against Tigers starter Doug Fister, a feat made all the more impressive by the catcher's limited opportunities of late.

"He pitched a really good game," Torrealba said of Fister. "He was pounding us inside all game long, and I was able to try to get my hands inside and pull the ball. ... I saw the ball really well today."

Not surprisingly, Torrealba would have preferred to enjoy a victory in Game 3.

"I was just looking more for the win than anything," Torrealba said. "If I can trade my three hits for a win, that would be great."

Torrealba's strong night didn't lead to a victory, but it did give Napoli a day off from catching -- part of Washington's rationale for the lineup change.

"I want to get [Napoli] off his feet, stoop him down, giving him relaxation mentally," Washington explained before the game. "So I decided to DH him."

Napoli said afterward that his legs were fine, but it was good to see Torrealba get an opportunity.

"Yorvy had a great night," Napoli said. "He hadn't played for a while. He did a great job tonight."

Bailey Stephens is reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.