David Murphy flattening swing better

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rangers outfielder David Murphy decided to take some even longer looks at video and see if he could figure out if there was anything about his swing or setup that was different from 2010.

And a week or two ago, he noticed he was wiggling the bat a lot more than normal on his setup. So he started working in the cages with a calmer bat and focused on getting it flat and in the hitting zone longer.

"It was a minor thing, but sometimes that stuff helps," Murphy said. "I wish I'd seen that sooner. But I feel like I'm swinging it better."

The results show that to be the case. Murphy acknowledges that it's a small sample size, but he's got a hit in four of his last five games and is batting .375 in that span, including two homers and six RBIs. And now with Nelson Cruz dealing with a hamstring strain, it becomes even more critical that Murphy give this team something offensively.

"He's been a little more aggressive," Washington said. "I think he's not trying to do much now. By not trying to do much, he's getting results. It's only a few games, but he looks good. It would be nice if he could put it together down the stretch. We know he's capable of doing it."

He did it last September, when he was forced into the lineup because of Josh Hamilton's fractured ribs. He was 33-for-93 (.355) with three homers and 17 RBIs. That was after hitting .307 in August.

Murphy talked a few days ago about how he hasn't had the kind of season he wanted. But he could salvage something with a good finish. And it appears he's starting to find his swing. Murphy also showed off his glove Sunday, making a nice running catch near the wall in left field in the fourth inning.