Murphy near the top of the AL in hitting

Murphy near the top of the AL in hitting

KANSAS CITY -- As of Monday morning, Rangers outfielder David Murphy was third in the American League in hitting. Murphy, for the first time in his career, has enough plate appearances to be listed among the league leaders, and he went into Monday's game against the Royals hitting .322.

That put him behind Angels outfielder Mike Trout, who is hitting .333, and Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera, who is hitting .331.

"It's pretty cool, but the bottom line is we're trying to win a division," Murphy said. "I don't need to focus on that. I need to focus on our team goals. If it's something I obsess over and exhaust myself thinking about it, I'll drive myself crazy."

The Rangers have had three batting champions in club history: Julio Franco won it in 1991, Michael Young in 2005 and Josh Hamilton in '10. Young was also in the race for a batting title down to the end of last season but lost out to Cabrera. Young hit a career-high .338 while finishing right behind Cabrera (.344).

"It's much easier when you're playing for a really good team," Young said. "It's much easier to focus on your job when you're playing for something important. Murph has had a great year, he has been swinging the bat well all season long, and we have all the confidence in the world that he'll continue to do what he has been doing."