Wash's Wisdom: We had to make a statement

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Not many managers in baseball know the pulse of their team like the Rangers' Ron Washington does.

That was put to the test again after Sunday's postgame meeting in Cleveland in which Washington urged his team to fight harder.

Washington has held two major team meetings of note this season. The Rangers won the next game both times, once in June and now in July.

Washington said Tuesday during his weekly radio show on "Fitzsimmons and Durrett" on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM that Monday night's walk-off 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels could be one of the special ones out of 162 games. A.J. Pierzynski and Geovany Soto hit home runs in the bottom of the ninth inning off Angels closer Ernesto Frieri.

The Rangers didn't pick up a game on Oakland -- which beat Toronto to remain six games up in the American League West -- but it was a boost to the Rangers' psyche.

"We had a statement that we wanted to make to each other," Washington said of what came out of that meeting. "Not to any team. But each other."

Washington clarified his comment on his radio show about wanting to see more fight from his team. He's seen it from individual players, just not from the team as a group.

"We weren't fighting as a unit," Washington said. "It wasn't that we weren't fighting. It was like we were fighting against each other and not with each other."

After a June loss to Toronto, Washington called a meeting and the team reeled off 10 wins in 13 games against Oakland, St. Louis, the New York Yankees and Cincinnati.

Maybe the latest meeting will spark his club again.

Standing by Murphy: Washington said that while he will keep finding at-bats for rookie outfielder Engel Beltre, he won't take away at-bats from David Murphy, who is in a season-long slump.

"I'm going to keep Murphy out there fighting because in a minute good things can happen," Washington said. "I'm willing to take a chance on that minute."

So how do you get Murphy going?

"I'm just going to have to keep playing him," Washington said. "That's how you do it. You have to keep him out there. Last night he smoked a ball and the way things are going, he smoked it right at somebody. That could have easily been a first-and-third situation with nobody out.

"We need to get Murphy going. I'm going to play Beltre. But I'm not going to not give Murphy a chance to see if he can come out of it. If he can come out of it, it can be a big boost for us."

Wash's words are a reminder about why the majority of his players love him and play hard for him.

"This game is about loyalty," Washington said. "It's about what you've done in the past and because you're struggling right now, it's hard to turn your back on that."