ARLINGTON -- Outfielder David Murphy said he would wait until Opening Day to see if he was really going to be in the lineup for the first game. He was. The lineup card posted Friday had Murphy batting ninth and playing left field.
"I'm excited," Murphy said. "I'm thankful for the opportunity. Hopefully, I can take it and run with it."
Murphy was batting ninth, mainly because the White Sox had left-hander John Danks on the mound.
"I'll take it," Murphy said. "I've said all along that I've shown I can be productive against right-handers. I still feel I can hit left-handers, but I don't care if I'm at the bottom of the lineup, I still feel I can keep the line moving. Hopefully, I can show I can be consistent against left-handers."
The Rangers' other option was to use Craig Gentry, a right-handed bat, against Danks. But Washington was adamant about getting Murphy, who finished 1-for-3 in the 3-2 victory, into the Opening Day lineup.
"He earned his job out of Spring Training," Washington said. "He didn't win it by default. He earned it. We all know the type of player David is. In previous years there was always somebody else who had to play out there. This spring, he earned his Opening Day start. He had a tremendous spring and I'm not talking about his offense. I was impressed with his defense, his throwing and his leadership."
Murphy and Alberto Callaspo of the Angels are the only two players who played at least 120 games in each of the past three seasons without starting on Opening Day.