Murphy out with virus, ordered to keep his distance

Murphy out with virus, ordered to keep his distance

ARLINGTON -- It was David Murphy's upset stomach, not his bat, that not only kept him out of the lineup Saturday night against the Boston Red Sox but, except for a brief medical visit, kept him out of Rangers Ballpark in Arlington altogether.

"He's got a stomach virus," manager Ron Washington reported in his pregame news briefing. "He's not even in the ballpark. His whole family is laid up."

Washington said Murphy was fine for Friday night's game but came down with the virus sometime after the Rangers' 7-0 victory in the series opener.

Washington said doctors told Murphy not to come to the park for treatment until later in order to keep him away from other players.

"He'll come in through the back door [after the game starts]," Washington said, "and we'll get him out the back door, too."

Had Murphy been healthy, Washington said he would have started the left-handed-hitting outfielder against Red Sox right-hander John Lackey, just as he does against every right-hander, despite Murphy's .168 average this season. Instead, Washington inserted Craig Gentry in center field and moved Leonys Martin to left.

"The only way [Murphy is] ever going to look good is to face some right-handers and get him back out there," Washington said. "We have to get him ready."

Murphy didn't start against Red Sox left-hander Felix Doubront on Friday night but came in defensively for Jeff Baker in the fifth, after the Rangers broke the game open with a five-run fourth. He went 0-for-3 and struck out twice. He has gone 1-for-18 (.056) in his last eight games.

"We all go through it," Gentry said. "We know what he can do when he's right."

Jim Reeves is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.