Outfielder David Murphy went 3-for-4 with three doubles, three runs scored and an RBI as the Rangers beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 9-1 on Sunday night. He is the only rookie in the majors with three doubles in a game this season.
“Babe Ruth,” manager Ron Washington jokingly said. “He looks like he knows what he’s doing out there. He’s a ballplayer.”
Murphy is 4-for-6, all of his hits doubles, in two starts since the Rangers brought him up from Triple-A Oklahoma before the weekend series. He played college ball at Baylor, only about a 90-minute drive from Arlington.
“I’m getting an opportunity here. All I want to do is make the most of it,” Murphy said. “There is time left before the end of the season. As a whole, that’s going to make up my first impression.”
After Delmon Young led off the second with a deep fly ball, Gabbard took a moment on the mound. Manager Ron Washington then came out with trainer Jamie Reed and they only talked to Gabbard, who handed the ball to Washington and walked to the dugout.
Washington said they knew before the game that Gabbard was stiff, but said “it’s nothing to be concerned with” even though the pitcher has had four arm operations in the past. The manager expects Gabbard to start as scheduled Friday at Minnesota.
“I threw on the side on Friday and I guess I did too much. It was tight when I went home. But it’s a minor setback,” Gabbard said. “It’s frustrating and aggravating. I felt it on all my pitches. I wanted to stay in and pitch.”
Gabbard threw only 18 pitches (12 strikes) in a reunion with Florida high school battery mate Jarrod Saltalamacchia, the rookie catcher who came from Atlanta for Mark Teixeira in a trade finalized at the trading deadline like the deal with the Red Sox.
In 2000, Gabbard was a senior and Saltalamacchia a freshman starter for the Royal Palm Beach High team that made it to the 6A state tournament.
Gabbard gave up a leadoff single to Jonny Gomes, then retired his last four batters with two strikeouts. He is 1-1 for Texas after going 4-0 in seven starts for the Red Sox.
Gomes was 3-for-5 with an RBI single in the eighth. Carl Crawford was 0-for-5 with two strikeouts to end his team record of eight straight multihit games. He also had a career-best 12-game hitting streak overall, going 28-for-49 (.571) in that stretch.
Byrd’s single in the third made it 2-0. After Young led off the fifth with his sixth homer of the season to make it 4-0, Byrd had a double that chased Jason Hammel (1-2).
“Hammel’s velocity was there, but his control wasn’t,” manager Joe Maddon said. “He didn’t have control of any of his pitches.”
Eyre allowed four hits and walked three, but none of them scored. The Devil Rays had the bases loaded in the fourth when Ben Zobrist lined into an inning-ending double play.
Tampa Bay loaded the bases again in the seventh—on two walks and a hit batter—before Frank Francisco, the fourth of five Texas pitchers, struck out Delmon Young for the final out.
Murphy reached on a fielder’s choice in the fourth and scored on a triple by Frank Catalanotto, who might have had an inside-the-park homer had he not jogged to first watching the ball that ricocheted off an angled wall in right-center.
After Young and Byrd got the fifth started, Brad Wilkerson had an RBI single before Jason Boots and Murphy each drove in a run with doubles to make it 7-0.
Hammel is winless in 14 major league starts, five this season. His only victory came in relief. … The game time temperature was 98 degrees, the hottest of the season. … Rangers 2B Ian Kinsler had his 14th stolen base. He is the only player in the majors with more than seven stolen bases without being thrown out this season.