Murphy returns to lineup in Game 3 for Texas

Murphy returns to lineup in Game 3 for Texas

ARLINGTON -- Outfielder David Murphy told the Rangers he was ready to go.

Murphy has not played since Sept. 29 because of a mild strain of his left groin muscle but was back in the lineup on Saturday afternoon against the Rays in Game 3 of the American League Division Series.

"I feel great," said Murphy, who put himself through a full workout on Friday just to make sure. "I feel like I did [Friday]. I told them if I felt anything different I would let them know. I would definitely be honest and tell them, but I feel great."

Murphy has been on the playoff roster since the beginning and was available as a pinch-hitter during the two games in Tampa Bay. But he was not needed and did not play.

"I don't feel like I have been left out," Murphy said. "How can you argue with the results? Winning is more important than me being on the field."

Murphy is not 100 percent, but neither is Josh Hamilton. But Murphy was in left and Hamilton, who has been dealing with two small fractures in his right rib cage, was in center for Game 3.

"Nobody is 100 percent right now," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "Hamilton is good enough to go out there and perform, and right now, that's all that matters. No one is 100 percent. I think Michael [Young] said it perfectly. It doesn't matter. You are going to drag yourself out there and do what you have to do."