SEATTLE -- Lefty-swinging David Murphy was back in the No. 2 spot for the Rangers on Saturday night with right-hander Felix Hernandez on the mound for the Mariners. Manager Ron Washington said moving Murphy behind leadoff man Elvis Andrus has helped him get untracked at the plate. Murphy said he is still not quite there yet.
"I don't know if I can put my finger on it yet," Murphy said. "I'm moving in the right direction, but I don't think I'm as hot like I can be. I think it definitely helps being in a spot where I have a lot going on around me. Elvis is getting on base in front of me and I have some great hitters behind me. I'm seeing good pitches to hit. It's still a matter of executing and putting the sweet part of the bat on the ball."
Murphy did not start on Friday night with left-hander Joe Saunders on the mound. Jeff Baker started and was 2-for-2 with a home run. When the Mariners went with right-hander Danny Farquhar, Murphy came in to pinch-hit. He later had a single off left-hander Lucas Luetge.
But the Rangers' plan right now is to continue to get Baker at-bats against left-handed pitchers. Baker is 13-for-34 with five home runs against southpaws this season.
"What's going on with the team is more important than what's going on with me," Murphy said. "Everybody knows I want to play every day, but right now Baker is doing an unbelievable job. Hopefully I'll get an opportunity against left-handers, but he's doing a great job. Every time a left-hander starts, he's hitting a home run or doing something big."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.