Rangers move David Murphy back to left field

Posted Tuesday, Aug. 06, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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The task of being the first to replace Nelson Cruz in right field fell to David Murphy on Monday night, and two batted balls by Los Angeles Angels hitters fell that shouldn’t have.

Manager Ron Washington wasted no time giving one of the other five outfielders on the Texas Rangers a chance, moving Engel Beltre into right field Tuesday for the second game of the three-game series.

Murphy was back in left field, where he is likely to stay the rest of the season. Washington, meanwhile, will be spending the next week or so figuring out which combinations work best to fill in for Cruz, who is suspended the rest of the regular season.

“David’s played right field,” Washington said. “He had a rough night, but I figured I better get him comfortable.”

Washington also said that Leonys Martin will not play left field again this season after having trouble there Friday at Oakland.

“I’m through with that, too,” Washington said.

Craig Gentry will play center field when he’s in the lineup, and Beltre can play all three outfield spots. Washington needs to learn if Joey Butler, a right fielder, can play the opposite corner to get his right-handed bat in the lineup against left-handers.

Murphy misplayed two balls in the opener. Though neither play was scored an error, one led to an Angels run in their 5-2 loss to the Rangers.

The first mistake came in the first inning on a ball down the right-field line. Murphy thought the ball was going to land foul in the seats, but said the wind carried it fair and over his head for an RBI double for Mark Trumbo.

Murphy charged, slid and dropped a pop-up with two outs in the eighth inning, but Neal Cotts got out of the jam on a fly ball that Murphy caught at the right-field wall.

“The second one was just embarrassing,” Murphy said.

Ogando on bubble?

Alexi Ogando will make his fourth start Wednesday since coming off the disabled list July 23, and he’s hoping for his first with good fastball command. The right-hander could be in danger of losing his spot in the rotation once left-hander Matt Harrison is ready to come off the DL.

“That’s what you strive to do, but you can’t predict your own future and you have to keep working,” Ogando said.

Ogando wants to continue as a starting pitcher, and said he worked on his command during his between-starts bullpen session. He walked five in four innings Friday night at Oakland, and struck out only one.

He said one bullpen session won’t be the cure, but he believes he has made strides.

“In the last three starts I haven’t felt comfortable with the command of my pitches,” Ogando said. “I’ve just got to keep working hard and get my rhythm again.”

Briefly

• Lance Berkman (hip) participated in early batting practice, and Ron Washington noticed the designated hitter getting through balls better. Berkman hopes to go on a rehab assignment this weekend.

• Elvis Andrus returned to shortstop a day after being relegated to DH duties because of back stiffness. “I was good to play,” he said. “It’s nothing serious. I’ll play through it.”

• Right-hander Neftali Feliz will throw an inning Thursday for Triple A Round Rock as he continues his comeback from Tommy John surgery. He has worked two scoreless innings in the Arizona Rookie League.

Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @JeffWilson

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