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David Murphy works on consistency

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- If the season started today, outfielder David Murphy would be feeling pretty good about himself at the plate.

Murphy went 1-for-2 with a walk in Sunday's shortened game versus the Milwaukee Brewers. Before the rained poured in the fourth inning, he blasted a two-run shot to center field in the first.

Although the shot was off right-handed pitcher Tyler Thornburg, he feels better against left-handed pitchers in spring training than righties.

"I’ve always hit righties better than lefties," Murphy said. "I know that’s going to come around. I took a good swing against a righty today."

Murphy had a .215 batting average and .234 slugging percentage against lefties last season. He fared better against right-handed pitchers -- .296 batting average with a .461 slugging percentage.

He wants to be a more consistent hitter this season and uses teammate Michael Young as an example of what he strives to be at the plate. Young hit .361 and .330 respectively against left- and right-handed pitchers with .500 and .465 slugging percentages.

“I feel like in the past I can be a pretty big contributor when I’m hot," Murphy said. "When I’m hot I can get hot but when I’m cold, I can get pretty bad.”

Murphy thinks consistency starts with a right mental approach. He said at times during a hot streak, it's like playing with house money when a batter is on a roll.

"You think you can swing for the fences or something like that when you shouldn’t take that approach," Murphy said. "You should take that same approach that started you on that hot streak."

He simplified his approach and attempts to be early with his timing this spring. Murphy said the two go hand in hand. If he tries to do too much at the plate, he's usually a bit late on his timing.

"If a pitcher makes a mistake in that situations then let that pitch dictate the result instead of trying to force the action," Murphy said.

In 10 games, Murphy is 11-for-28. Nine of those hits are singles. Murphy is slugging .571 and his five RBIs are second most on the team.

"It’s never a sport you’re going to master," Murphy said. "For me it’s about consistency. I love good days, hate the bad days."

The new approach seems to be working in camp but only time can tell how consistent Murphy can be for the Rangers this season.