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10/09/10 4:54 PM ET

Murphy returns to lineup in Game 3 for Texas

ARLINGTON -- Outfielder David Murphy told the Rangers he was ready to go.

Murphy has not played since Sept. 29 because of a mild strain of his left groin muscle but was back in the lineup on Saturday afternoon against the Rays in Game 3 of the American League Division Series.

"I feel great," said Murphy, who put himself through a full workout on Friday just to make sure. "I feel like I did [Friday]. I told them if I felt anything different I would let them know. I would definitely be honest and tell them, but I feel great."

Murphy has been on the playoff roster since the beginning and was available as a pinch-hitter during the two games in Tampa Bay. But he was not needed and did not play.

"I don't feel like I have been left out," Murphy said. "How can you argue with the results? Winning is more important than me being on the field."

Murphy is not 100 percent, but neither is Josh Hamilton. But Murphy was in left and Hamilton, who has been dealing with two small fractures in his right rib cage, was in center for Game 3.

"Nobody is 100 percent right now," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "Hamilton is good enough to go out there and perform, and right now, that's all that matters. No one is 100 percent. I think Michael [Young] said it perfectly. It doesn't matter. You are going to drag yourself out there and do what you have to do."

Washington embraces Claw, Antlers craze

ARLINGTON -- Walk around the Ballpark in Arlington on Saturday and it's easy to see the Claw and Antlers craze taking off with Rangers fans. Many wore the T-shirt while attending Game 3 of the American League Division Series.

But the players and manager Ron Washington are also getting into it as well.

"I embraced it right away," third baseman Michael Young said. "We didn't think it would take on a life of its own so far, with grandpas and grandkids doing it. But amongst us players, it was something we did pretty much in Spring Training. It started out small, it started in BP in Spring Training on the back fields.

"And we started doing it in games and fans got a hold of it and it took on a life of its own. It is a small way for us show some camaraderie, show some support."

The Claw is a long-distance high five between players. The "Antlers" sign is given when a player does something special with his speed. Now they have become signature gestures for the Rangers.

"My honest opinion when it started, it's nice for something those guys could have fun with," Washington said. "I never had a negative thought about it. Whatever it takes to relax them, whatever it takes for them to perform better, I am all for it.

"That's what they did, that's what they started, they had fun with it and it seems to make everybody seems part of everything. In game of baseball people came up with all kinds of things. I never thought it was something show somebody up. Tampa Bay has blue plaid jackets they wear. I have my T-shirt and Antlers."

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.