A.J. Pierzynski will open a key three-game series at Kansas City as the Rangers' designated hitter as he deals with a bruise on his left hand. The regular catcher was hit on the hand while swinging at a pitch Tuesday. He caught 12 innings Wednesday despite the bruise, so the Rangers don't consider the injury to be serious, and was off Thursday as Geovany Soto caught Yu Darvish. Soto will catch a second straight game Friday. He threw out two runners in the second inning Thursday.
Royals lineup vs. LHP Martin Perez: Alex Gordon, lf; Emilio Bonafacio, 2b; Eric Hosmer, 1b; Billy Butler, dh; Salvador Perez, c; Lorenzo Cain, cf; Mike Moustakas, 3b; Justin Maxwell, rf; Alcides Escobar, ss.
Rangers lineup vs. RHP Ervin Santana: Ian Kinsler, 2b; Elvis Andrus, ss; Alex Rios, rf; Adrian Beltre, 3b; A.J. Pierzynski, dh; Mitch Moreland, 1b; Geovany Soto, c; David Murphy, lf; Leonys Martin, cf.
-- Jeff Wilson