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Off the bat, Murphy makes his case for increased role

The Sports Xchange
Roster Report · Notes, Quotes · Off the bat, Murphy makes his case for increased role

After Friday's season opener, Rangers manager Ron Washington maintained he's "dug in" on starting Julio Borbon over David Murphy in the outfield.

Murphy proved it's not who starts that is important, but who finishes.

The Rangers called on Murphy in the eighth inning of a tie game with Boston to have him hit for Borbon against Boston right-hander Daniel Bard. Murphy responded with a two-run double that provided the winning runs in the Rangers' 9-5 win. Texas went on to score twice more in the inning, essentially making the difference between Murphy and Borbon six runs on Friday.

Borbon, the center fielder, didn't hear or see right fielder Nelson Cruz calling for a ball hit his way in the first inning, and he crashed into Cruz. The ball popped loose and Borbon was charged with a two-base error. The Red Sox went on to score twice in the inning.

It only raised more questions about the outfield situation. Those questions arose this spring when the Rangers said Borbon would be their starting center fielder when camp started. They awarded Borbon the position without giving Murphy, a starter last year during the postseason, a chance to compete for the job. The reason: The Rangers want Borbon's speed in center so that Josh Hamilton can play left. The Rangers feel that if Murphy plays the outfield, he must play a corner rather than center.

Murphy, however, was a more productive player than Borbon last year and during spring training. The Rangers, however, stuck by Borbon, and Washington reiterated that support after the opener.

Murphy said: "I think the way I play is my campaign. I know (Washington) is going to get me on the field. I know I'm going to play. As much as I want to start and play more, I've got to trust my coaching staff. They are going to put the best nine out there."

When the game mattered most Friday, Murphy was one of the Rangers' nine.

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