ARLINGTON, TX - JUNE 27: David Murphy #7 of the Texas Rangers is congratulated by manager Ron Washington after hitting a three-run homer against the Detroit Tigers on June 27, 2012 at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Layne Murdoch/Getty Images)
After he singled in the eighth inning on Monday night, shortly before the Texas Rangers wrapped up a win to open a homestand against the Baltimore Orioles, David Murphy exited stage left and gave way to pinch-runner/ninth-inning defensive replacement Craig Gentry.
That's just the way things have been going lately. Murphy has ended any possibility of Gentry, who's hitting better than .300 in part-time duty, getting any meaningful playing time as Murphy has become an everyday player who's penciled into the lineup no matter what side of the mound the starting pitcher is throwing from.
That continued on Monday when Murphy went 2-for-3 with two RBIs to raise his batting average to .309 (tops among regulars) and his RBI total to 48 (two shy of his 2011 season total).
"It's just nice that I can stick with the same feel and stick with the same routine," Murphy told ESPNDallas. "And, I don't know, things are just flowing a little bit better."
It's unfortunate for Gentry, who has become a bit of a fan favorite, himself, and had earned playing time with his hot June and July, right along with Murphy. But with Nelson Cruz and Josh Hamilton entrenched there was only room for one and Murphy won out. While it might be bad for Gentry, competition can only be a good thing for the Rangers and so far, Murphy has won out in that department.