David Murphy will start Game 3

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington said outfielder David Murphy will start in left field for Saturday's potential American League Division Series-clinching Game 3 against the Tampa Bay Rays at Rangers Ballpark.

Murphy proclaimed himself ready after testing his strained left groin in Friday's workout at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

"After what I did today, I can definitely go nine innings," Murphy said. "I didn't want to start and then have to be taken out. There are no guarantees, but I feel good and I'm ready to go."

Murphy did not play the first two games of the series in Tampa Bay as the Rangers wanted to give him a few extra days to nurse the groin and also stay off the Tropicana Field turf.

"I was even surprised at how it felt today," Murphy said. "Maybe the turf was bothering me and I didn't realize it."

Murphy last played Sept. 29. He had a tremendous finish to the season, batting .355 in September with three homers and 17 RBIs.

Julio Borbon started in left field in Game 2 against Rays right-hander James Shields, and with righty Matt Garza set for Game 3, the left-handed hitting Murphy will likely bat seventh in the order.

Murphy said he challenged himself by taking sharp breaks on balls and running as hard as he could. He said he can still feel the groin a little bit, but said he's at 90 percent.

"I wouldn't say that I was ready to go if I wasn't," Murphy said even before the workout. "I'm not going to be selfish. I understand how important every single spot on the roster is and I don't want to be here just to be here. I want to be here to contribute, and if I felt that I couldn't, I wouldn't have told them I was ready to go."

Jeff Caplan and Richard Durrett are reporters for ESPNDallas.com.