7/13/2013 12:00 A.M. ET
Murphy looks to continue past success vs. Tigers
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
DETROIT -- David Murphy entered Friday's game with a career .318 batting average against the Tigers, including a .313 average at Comerica Park. That's the fourth-highest average by a Rangers player with at least 40 at-bats at Comerica Park.
So, with right-handers Doug Fister, Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander on the mound this weekend for the Tigers, this would be a good time for Murphy to catch fire.
"I haven't been extremely hot, but I feel like I've had pretty good at-bats the past two or three weeks," Murphy said. "I've felt great for a month. I don't feel great against left-handers, but I feel my at-bats have been solid. I'm not sure what the results have been, I haven't kept track of those, but I could do a better job of driving in runs and hitting with runners in scoring position."
Murphy is hitless in his last 15 at-bats with runners in scoring position and just 2-for-34 since May 26. For the season, he is hitting .158 with runners in scoring position, the fifth-lowest average in the league.
"I'd like to see Murph make a few adjustments, but he's had success doing things the way he has been doing them, so you've got to figure with his track record, things will turn around," manager Ron Washington said. "Hopefully, in the second half, he'll make adjustments. I still have confidence in Murph, that's why I keep running him out there."
Murphy's track record shows he is a career .261 hitter with a .420 slugging percentage before the All-Star break and batting .300 with a .480 slugging percentage afterward. He went into Friday's game hitting .221 with a .381 slugging percentage. He is hitting .262 with two home runs in his last 18 games with just three RBIs.
Struggling Profar remains in lineup
DETROIT -- Jurickson Profar started in left field on Friday night, marking the fourth straight day he has been in the lineup and sixth time in the last seven games. He also went into the game with just one hit in his last 18 at-bats.
"I'm just missing a lot of balls," Profar said. "It's going to come. I'm confident. I'm working hard in the cages. It's going to come soon."
Profar showed signs of snapping out of his slump, going 2-for-4 with an RBI single in a 7-2 loss to the Tigers.
This was the third time in his last six starts that Profar has started in left field. He also started once each at third, short and second base. But manager Ron Washington said Profar's struggles at the plate are not from playing multiple positions.
"They are two different things," Washington said. "Now, I could see it affecting him at the plate if he was messing up at those positions, but that's not the case. No one said it was going to be easy, but he's an athlete. I don't see where he can't handle it.
"What you're seeing offensively is inexperience. That's all it is. Every once in a while, he'll go up there and catch one, but he just hasn't had a whole lot of time up here. He doesn't know these pitchers. It's a whole new experience. It takes time unless you are a serious stud."
Tepesch behind Darvish, Ogando in recovery
DETROIT -- The Rangers are hoping some of their starting pitchers will be ready to come off the disabled list after the All-Star break. Nick Tepesch is not likely to be in the first wave.
Tepesch has not thrown since being placed on the disabled list on July 7 with inflammation in his right elbow. The Rangers are not going to let him begin a throwing program until he is pain free and that's not yet the case. He has not pitched since July 5 against the Astros.
The Rangers are expecting Yu Darvish to return on July 22 and face the Yankees, and Alexi Ogando could be right behind him. Ogando, who is on the disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder, made his second start on a medical rehab assignment for Triple-A Round Rock on Thursday night.
Facing the Omaha Storm Chasers, Ogando threw 66 pitches and allowed four runs on five hits with two walks and a strikeout. All four runs came across in the first inning. Reports said Ogando had his normal velocity, but was erratic with his location.
"He's rehabbing," manager Ron Washington said. "He's building up arm strength and facing hitters. Hopefully in his next start all of that will fall into place."
Ogando will likely start for Double-A Frisco on Tuesday. The goal will be to get his pitch count up to 75-80 pitches. At that point, the Rangers will make a decision if Ogando is ready to come off the disabled list or needs another start in the Minor Leagues.
July 29 game against Angels moved up an hour
DETROIT -- The Rangers' game against the Angels on July 29 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington has been moved up from 7:05 p.m. CT to 6:05 p.m. to accommodate national cable TV. It's the second of two games after the All-Star break that have been moved up for a national broadcast.
The game against the Yankees on July 22 in Arlington has also been moved up to 6:05 p.m. Yu Darvish, who is on the disabled list with a strained right trapezius muscle, is scheduled to pitch for the Rangers that night. There is also a possibility that Alex Rodriguez could come off the disabled list that night for the Yankees after being sidelined all season due to his hip surgery.
Both games will also be shown on the Rangers' local TV outlets, as well as out of market on MLB.TV.
• Jeff Baker, sidelined with a sprained left thumb, has had no trouble taking batting practice this week and could be ready for a rehab assignment on Monday at Double-A Frisco. Craig Gentry, sidelined with a fractured left hand, is also taking batting practice and should be ready to play at Frisco either Sunday or Monday.
• Neftali Feliz, who is nearing his one-year anniversary of having Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery, is throwing 40-45 pitch bullpen sessions in Surprise, Ariz., and using all of his pitches. At some point, he should progress to live batting practice and then Minor League games for a possible return by September. Feliz had his surgery on Aug. 1.
• Colby Lewis is scheduled for a 45-pitch live batting practice session on Saturday. He'll be reevaluated after that to see if he's ready for a rehab assignment.
• The Rangers signed one more Draft pick before Friday's 4 p.m. CT deadline. They signed Sal Mendez, a left-handed pitcher from Weehawken (N.J.) High, who was taken in the 40th round. They signed 28 of their 41 picks from June's First-Year Player Draft, including their top 13 picks.
• After two years as the American League manager for the All-Star Game, Ron Washington will spend his break at his home in New Orleans.
"I haven't been home since February," Washington said.
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.