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Castro makes fifth straight start behind the plate

Castro makes fifth straight start behind the plate

ANAHEIM -- For the first time in nearly three years, Jason Castro was in Saturday's lineup as the starting catcher for the fifth consecutive game, which ties his career high for consecutive games behind the plate. Castro last caught five games in a row June 26-30, 2010, shortly after he made his Major League debut. A major knee injury that cost him the 2011 season limited his playing time last year.

Backup catcher Carlos Corporan has been catching Lucas Harrell's starts in the spring and the first two games of the season, but with a left-hander pitching Sunday for the Angels in a day game, manager Bo Porter tabbed Castro on Saturday and will put the switch-hitting Corporan in the lineup on Sunday.

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"It's a great feeling," Castro said. "I was actually just talking with [catching instructor Jeff] Murphy about it yesterday and joked with him about how it's the first time in like two years where I've been able to catch more than three games in a row.

"I'm really happy with the way my health has been kind of progressing over the course of the offseason and Spring Training and so far this year. I feel really good, not even just like I'm able to do it, but I feel just as fresh today as I did at the start of Spring Training. I'm really happy with that progress."

Castro's improved health has also paid dividends defensively, where he's been better at blocking balls this season. He said his reaction when it comes to blocking balls in the dirt is starting to feel more natural instead of something he has to think about.

"I had a lot of work to do coming into the spring," Castro said. "From a physical standpoint, I was healthy enough to start attack blocking, and then it was just about getting reps. I had early work every day at 7 a.m. with Murphy and the other catchers in the mornings [this spring]. That's when we put our work in and I was really happy with how that progression went."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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