Murphy rescues Rangers in ninth
Outfielder's two-run single caps night of wild comebacks
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers did something astounding in July: They had a winning record despite a 6.63 ERA.Now August starts out like July ended: Another hot night, another dramatic ninth-inning rally and more postgame dogpiles on the field after an exhilarating, heart-stopping victory. The Rangers have done it twice this week, and David Murphy was the man at the bottom of the latest dogpile after smacking a two-run single down the third-base line to give his team a 9-8 victory over the Blue Jays at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The Rangers actually had two comebacks in this game. They trailed 6-0 after 3 1/2 innings and came back to tie it. Then closer C.J. Wilson gave up two runs in the top of the ninth inning to make it 8-6 before the Rangers struck back against Blue Jays closer B.J. Ryan in the bottom of the frame. "Obviously, we'd like them to be easier, but we'll take them anyway we can get them," shortstop Michael Young said. "It helps that we've done it before," said Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who started the rally with a one-out walk. "We believe we can do it. I don't know why people are always shocked by what we do. We're a good team." The Rangers did this once before earlier this week when they rallied for two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the Mariners, 11-10, on Tuesday. "It's always a little bit of a downer when your closer gives up two runs," second baseman Ian Kinsler said. "But when we got back to the dugout, we felt we could put up as many runs as we needed to. We've proved it all year." Murphy not only had a two-run single in the ninth, but also had two-run single in the fifth to complete the Rangers' first comeback. Both were similar situations. The Rangers had runners on second and third with a left-hander on the mound for the Blue Jays. Both times Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston walked right-handed hitter Marlon Byrd to load the bases. Murphy entered the game hitting .237 against left-handers, but came through both times against Jesse Carlson in the fifth and Ryan in the ninth. "It feels good to have some great at-bats against left-handers," Murphy said. "I knew I could do it, I just made an adjustment not to swing at off-speed pitches. I haven't been delivering like I could lately, but on a night like this, it is good to be able to come through." Josh Hamilton started the Rangers initial rally with a two-run home run in the fourth, but wasn't around at the end. He left the game with lightheadness and dehydration after six innings, and it proved to be a crucial factor in the final three innings. Brandon Boggs took over and made two big plays to help fulfill his manager's prophecy. "I told Brandon I was putting him in there to help us win the game," Ron Washington said.
Boggs, who went to left while Byrd moved to center, kept the game tied in the top of the eighth when he threw out David Eckstein trying to score on Marco Scutaro's fly ball. But that was just the warmup.After Wilson gave up his two runs, Ryan took over and got Kinsler on a grounder to short. But he walked Saltalamacchia and Young followed with a single to right. That brought up Boggs and he drove a double into left-center to score Saltalamacchia. Young held up at third and that's when Gaston walked Byrd to get to Murphy. "That's a tough loss," Gaston said afterward. "We battled hard and they battled hard, but they came out on top. They hit .282 as a team, so they're never out of a game. That kid Murphy got us twice tonight." This time Ryan got ahead 1-and-2 in the count, but Murphy slapped a single down the third-base line to give the Rangers their sixth walk-off victory of the season. They are also 23-12 in one-run games. "You don't like to have to fight like that and have to come back like that every time to win a game," Washington said. "But in the position we're in, we just have to keep doing our thing. Our guys never quit. They keep fighting. Once again, we played nine innings."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.