In his 10-year career, Jason Bay has been written into the starting lineup 1,178 times. But never once in all those games with the San Diego Padres, Pittsburgh Pirates, Boston Red Sox and New York Mets was his name ever atop the batting order at the leadoff spot.

That streak ended on Friday night as Bay found himself at the top of the Mariners’ batting order against the Los Angeles Angels.

The reason was with Angels’ lefty C.J. Wilson on the mound, Mariners manager Eric Wedge wanted a lineup featuring mostly switch-hitters and right-handed hitters.

For his career, Wilson has been tough on lefties: They are hitting .204 with a .573 on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS), while righties are hitting .247 with a .710 OPS.

“He’s been really tough on us,” Wedge said.

The only left-side swingers in the lineup were center fielder Endy Chavez and third baseman Kyle Seager.

Those two have been hitting No. 1 and No. 2 the last few days, but Wedge decided to split them up with Wilson on the mound.

“I didn’t want to start the game with two lefties against Wilson,” Wedge said. “Jason sees a lot pitches. He has pretty good recognition. He’s an experienced guy. We had him there in spring training a little bit, which is why you do those things in spring training.”

The handful of Cactus League games that Bay started this spring taught him one big thing about batting leadoff – it’s not really much different than any other spot.

“I don’t really change much,” he said. “Whether I’m leading off or batting eighth, I’m still doing the same thing. It looks different on the scorecard, but I don’t take it any differently.”

So it’s not that big of a deal?

“A lot is made of it, cause it’s up there in print on the scorecard, especially when you don’t do it very often,” he said. “It looks really different. But to the guys in here and anyone that gets in those spots, we know it doesn’t change much.”

What has changed for Bay is being a bench player. For the bulk of his big league career, he’s been an everyday player. It’s an adjustment for him mentally and physically.

“First you have to understand what your role is and try to embrace it,” Bay said. “I think a lot of guys end up thinking, ‘Oh I should be doing this and doing that or playing this much. But looking at it, this is where I am. This is what they want and expect.”