‘Small’ approach starting to yield bigger results for David Murphy

Posted Monday, Jul. 22, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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David Murphy would like to see history repeat itself.

He has always put up better numbers in the second half compared with the first half, and has gotten off to a strong start this year.

Murphy had a hit in the first three games since the All-Star break, going into Monday’s game 5 for his last 9. He followed it up with an 0 for 4 night, but is still feeling better at the plate.

“I’m taking a simpler approach and getting back to the basics,” said Murphy, a career .301 batter after the All-Star break. “There were times I tried to do too much in the first half. Now, I’m looking to drive the ball up the middle or get a simple single somewhere. When I think small, good things happen.”

Murphy couldn’t have had a more frustrating first half. He batted only .219 with a .278 on-base percentage and .373 slugging percentage.

Not exactly a promising sign going into a contract year, but Murphy said that his upcoming free agency hasn’t weighed on his mind.

“I don’t play the game to make money,” Murphy said. “I feel like I’ve been fortunate enough to put myself and my family in a position financially where we’re in a good spot for the rest of our lives. If there’s any pressure, it’s to contribute and help this team win games.”

Progress for Berkman

Lance Berkman took batting practice on the field Monday for the first time since landing on the disabled list with left hip inflammation on July 7.

Berkman, 37, said the session went well, saying he felt better from the left side than the right side.

“Overall felt pretty good,” he said. “I’m day to day from here on out.”

Berkman has yet to run the bases, but said he ran on the treadmill Sunday and Monday. He said he’ll be ready to return “whenever I can do everything pain free.”

Two-hole shuffles

Manager Ron Washington continued to shuffle the No. 2 spot in the lineup Monday, opting to go with Mitch Moreland for the second time this season.

Moreland has been struggling of late, going 1 for his last 14 and batting .184 over his last 26 games. Washington hoped pushing Moreland up in the order would help get him going offensively, although Moreland said he has felt good at the plate.

“I’m going up there and trying to grind out at-bats and get something to hit,” Moreland said. “I go up there to compete and try to get a good pitch and square it up.”

Elvis Andrus is the Rangers’ primary two-hole batter, but Washington wants to give the shortstop more time down in the lineup to keep him more relaxed.


• Colby Lewis made another rehab start at Double A Frisco on Monday. He allowed three runs on five hits with two walks and three strikeouts over three innings. He threw 56 pitches, 33 for strikes.

• The Rangers held a routine defensive meeting before the Yankees series. Ron Washington on the defense of late: “It’s not been nice. There have been a lot of plays out there we haven’t made that we know we’re capable of making, but that doesn’t make us a bad defensive club.”

• Washington on Tuesday’s starter Alexi Ogando, who is coming off the DL (right shoulder inflammation): “He’s ready to go. He hasn’t had any issues with his shoulder. He’s done everything he’s needed to do to be ready.”

• Washington on Triple A Round Rock designated hitter Manny Ramirez: “Right now, we just want to see him play and see pitches. Hopefully, he’ll find that lightning in a bottle.”

Drew Davison, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @drewdavison

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