Rangers don't want to miss Murphy's hot bat

Rangers don't want to miss Murphy's hot bat

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals had a left-hander on the mound Saturday night and David Murphy was still in the lineup with Craig Gentry on the bench. Gentry usually starts ahead of Murphy when the opposition starts a left-hander but not on Saturday.

"He's hot so I figure I'm going to ride him," manager Ron Washington said of Murphy. "At some point you have to take advantage of what's out there."

Murphy entered Saturday's game hitting .383 with four home runs and 22 RBIs in his last 38 games. During that stretch, he had a .468 on-base percentage and a .579 slugging percentage. It hasn't all been against right-handers. Murphy is 9-for-14 during that stretch against left-handers.

"I've been feeling good for a few months," Murphy said. "I had a conversation with Ian Kinsler one night a few months ago and he said I should scoot closer to the plate. Since I've done that, things have gone well and my timing is good."

Murphy said by moving closer to the plate, he is been better at handling pitches on the outside part of the plate. That used to be a "hole" in his approach that opposing pitchers tried to exploit.

"Also in the past when I went on a little bit of a hot streak, I get the mindset that I'm playing with house money and I get outside myself," Murphy said. "I start trying to do things like hit home runs and I get out my approach. Recently my approach is as consistent as I've ever been."