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June 04, 2013

Outfielder David Murphy pitches scoreless inning for Rangers

The only scoreless inning posted by the Rangers' pitching staff Tuesday night at Fenway Park was turned in by none other than David Murphy, who started the game as the left fielder.

Murphy worked around a leadoff double by Daniel Nava to post the zero, striking out Mike Carp on a knuckleball and getting Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz on flyouts.

The left-handed Murphy threw 20 pitches/12 strikes in the sixth appearance by a position player in club history. Jeff Kunkel made two, and Jose Canseco, Scott Sheldon and Craig Gentry had one apiece. Murphy's appearance was on the one-year anniversary of Gentry's outing against Oakland.

"I was just trying to give the bullpen a breather and trying to get through the inning without getting hurt, honestly," Murphy said. "It was fun, and it will be fun to look back on it some day."

Manager Ron Washington said that he and his coaching staff decided to go to Murphy with the Rangers trailing 17-3. The goal throughout the night was to make sure that the Rangers have enough pitching for Wednesday in case scheduled starter Alexi Ogando, who is coming off the disabled list, is unable to pitch deep into the game.

"I was trying to piece things together to make sure we have pitching," Washington said. "We were thinking about who could do it. He said he has a knuckleball, so we put him out there."

Murphy said that he pitched in high school and there was some thought that he would pitch in college before suffering an injury.

"But I had stress fracture in my elbow throwing a pitch my junior year, and that ended my pitching career," he said. "It was a blessing."

Murphy, as expected, wasn't carrying on or bragging about his performance. He knows it can be frustrating when a non-pitcher gets a hitter out. Carp was so frustrated, or embarrassed, by taking a third strike that he was ejected.

"I've had plenty of position players get me out, and it's not a fun situation," Murphy said.

-- Jeff Wilson

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