Buzz: Murphy out with stomach flu
Murphy, expected to be in the lineup against John Lackey (a right-hander he has dominated), was not available to start Saturday's game against the Boston Red Sox because of a stomach virus. Murphy was expected to come to the ballpark at some point before the game.
Murphy, mired in a 1-for-18 slump that has forced Washington to sit in him in favor of Jeff Baker, has seven hits in 16 career at-bats against Lackey.
It would have been a good time to see Murphy. He'll have to wait until Monday in Chicago, when the Cubs throw former Rangers right-hander Scott Feldman in a makeup game.
Murphy was 0-for-3 against right-handers after entering the game Friday for defense. Manager Ron Washington admitted Saturday this is as rough a stretch as he has seen Murphy go through -- the left fielder's batting average has been under .200 since the second game of the season.
"The only way he's going to look good is we have to start facing some right-handers so I can get him back out there," Washington said. "We're going to use him against righties and some against lefties."
Other Rangers' notes for Saturday:
Nathan will pitch soon: Washington is aware that he needs to get closer Joe Nathan in a game after a week off. But he said veteran Derek Lowe needed the work more and that's why he pitched the ninth inning of Friday's 7-0 Rangers win. Lowe hadn't pitched in 10 days before Friday.
Nathan will try his best to be sharp when he pitches again -- maybe Saturday night -- but he said there's nothing that can be done to simulate the ninth inning.
"You just hope for the best," Nathan said. "There's no way to mimic going in a game."
Nathan was asked Saturday if at 38 years old the time off is helping to keep him fresh. He said it's actually the complete opposite.
"I don't think this is fresh," Nathan said. "When you don't throw, you become stale, not fresh. There's a fine line between being fresh and being rusty. You get fresh after two or three days off. After eight days, it becomes rust."
Martin improves in pinch: Leonys Martin has all three of the Rangers' pinch hits this season. He's 3-for-9 for the season. Martin has come through in his last two pinch hit opportunities.
Perez's rehab start official: The Rangers made it official that left-hander Martin Perez will begin his rehab assignment Monday night for Double-A Frisco. Perez, 22, is coming back from a broken left wrist suffered in a spring training game.
Welke honored: Rangers senior special assistant Don Welke was in Cooperstown, N.Y. on Saturday for the debut of a new interactive exhibit at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Diamond Mines celebrates the contributions of scouts to the game.
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