David Murphy returns to Rangers' lineup for Game 3 vs. Rays

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David Murphy is back in the starting lineup for Game 3 of the ALDS against the Rays this afternoon, according to Anthony Andro of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He’ll start in left field and bat seventh against Matt Garza.

Murphy has been sidelined since last Wednesday due to a strained left groin. Jeff Francoeur started against left-hander David Price in Game 1 of the series, while Julio Borbon was in the lineup for Game 2 against James Shields.

Murphy isn’t much to write home about against left-handed pitching, but he has an 842 career OPS against right-handed pitching, including a .298/.368/.479 batting line to go along with 11 homers, 50 RBI and an 847 OPS this season.

Bengie Molina, who was the unlikely hitting star in Game 1, is back behind the plate Saturday, batting eighth.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.