ARLINGTON, Texas – David Murphy is far from the only Ranger struggling at the plate these days, but at least he has contributed with his arm.
For the second game in a row, Murphy threw out a base runner from left field.
On Tuesday, he pegged Cleveland’s Carlos Santana trying to stretch a single into a double.
Wednesday, it was the speedy Michael Bourn who tested Murphy’s arm by trying to score from second on a Michael Brantley single. Murphy threw a strike to catcher A.J. Pierzynski to nab Bourn at the plate.
“When you’re not hitting, anything else you do makes you feel like you contribute,” Murphy said after the Rangers dropped their second game in a row to the Indians, 5-2. “In the end, a loss is a loss. A loss never feels good.”
Murphy also can’t feel good about his 0-for-5 performance at the plate, which dropped his average to .211 for the season.
He was moved up to second in the order on May 18 to help him get involved in the offense earlier in games, but his on-base percentage sits at .264.
“We know what David is capable of doing,” manager Ron Washington said. “I don’t think anyone feels any worse about what’s happening than he does. He comes every day and he works hard and he grinds and he’s trying to get right. At some point it will get right.”
That point wasn’t Wednesday as Murphy missed on a couple of opportunities that could have ignited the offense.
After the Rangers opened their half of the third inning with a Leonys Martin home run, Murphy hit into a double play. The next two batters reached base, but the double play kept the Rangers from stringing together a rally.
Murphy came up with a runner on in the seventh and hit a fly ball to the warning track in right field. After the Rangers rallied for a run in the ninth, the game ended when Murphy flied out to center field.
“I feel like I had a few good at-bats,” Murphy said. “If there were two things I was frustrated about, it was swinging at a 2-1 pitch out of the zone my first at-bat. And not putting as aggressive a swing as I could have on the 3-1 pitch my second at-bat.
“Obviously, the way we’re playing right now, when the offense hasn’t gotten going very much, double plays are rally killers. It’s frustrating to be in a hitter’s count and hit into a double play.”
Murphy is still swinging aggressively for the most part, as evidenced by his eight homers and 27 RBI. Murphy’s ability to hit for power has kept him in the everyday lineup.
“He’s still not where he wants to be, but he’s a threat,” Washington said. “With one swing of the bat he can make a difference.”