Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/9/12
Mlb-rangers-tigers-jul

The Rangers' lineup features a plethora of threats: outfielder Josh Hamilton, third baseman Adrian Beltre, second baseman Ian Kinsler, designated hitter Michael Young and right fielder Nelson Cruz.

And none of them are the team's most dangerous hitter this summer.

That honor belongs to outfielder David Murphy.

Murphy's .944 OPS since June 1 leads the Rangers by more than 70 points and ranks 11th in the AL.

This is why Rangers' manager Ron Washington went a week ago to Murphy, who is in his fifth year as the fourth outfielder, and told him he'd be playing regularly until "he proves me wrong."

In the past, Murphy, a left-handed hitter, has played regularly vs. right-handed pitching, but has been relegated to the bench against left-handers unless injuries left the manager no choice.

"He is staying on the plate and hitting the ball to all fields," Washington said Wednesday before the Rangers beat Boston, 10-9, to finish off a week-long trip at 4-2.

"I'm going on what he is doing right now. We had been struggling a little offensively and I wanted to get as much offense in the lineup as possible. I'm going to put the best guys out there. I'm not going to worry about the match-up stuff."

In the past, the "match-up stuff," meant finding a right-handed hitter, really any right-handed hitter, to face left-handers other than Murphy.

Between the time the Rangers got him from Boston and the end of last season, whenever Washington played Murphy against lefties, he was good for a single every four at-bats, but nothing else.

Murphy didn't supplement his .252 batting average with walks or with any real line drive power.

Earlier this season, though, in what has been a year of full of enlightenment, Murphy vented to teammate Ian Kinsler that he wasn't living up to his own offensive expectations for the year.

When Kinsler suggested Murphy try moving up to the plate, Murphy, who has not made adjustments easily, listened.

"Scooting up on the plate about four inches really helped me make my zone smaller and made it easier for me to handle outside pitches," Murphy said.

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