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Greene first to hit first in Astros' spring opener


CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The first lineup of the season had Tyler Greene hitting leadoff for the Astros on Saturday, and it's a good bet whoever wins the starting shortstop job -- Greene or switch-hitting Marwin Gonzalez -- will be the team's leadoff hitter.

Greene has hit leadoff only 23 times in his brief Major League career, and he's not your prototypical leadoff hitter. Still, he has some speed and more pop than you'd normally find in a No. 1 hitter.

"The No. 1 and No. 2 spots have always been where I've been coming up through the Minor Leagues, so it's something I'm used to," he said. "I love being at the top because you set the tone and can get on base for the big guys to drive you in, and it really allows me to use my speed and steal some bags."

An advantage to hitting first on an American League club is you won't usually be following the pitcher in the lineup.

"The pitcher kind of throws wrinkles into the order of things a little bit," he said. "Now it's just go out and play and have a productive at-bat."

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