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Murphy’s move to Sacramento could be sign of the times

When Sean Murphy moved from Philadelphia to Sacramento this off-season, he was sending a message.

Murphy, 25, had lived in Philly his whole life when not playing baseball. But after going 8-8 with a 4.08 ERA for Double-A Midland in the A’s organization last year, the right-hander set his eyes on Triple-A this time around.

Hence the move to Sacramento, home of the A’s Triple-A affiliate, the RiverCats.

“I’m hoping,’’ Murphy said. “I don’t know anything beyond that.’’

    Murphy moved a step closer to spending the summer in his Central California digs by pitching 4.1 scoreless innings against a power-laden Texas lineup Monday.

Murphy, the 33rd-round pick in the A’s 2010 draft, had never even met manager Bob Melvin before Monday, and when he learned he was moving for the day from the minor league facility to the big league camp, he thought he was going as a backup.

Instead there was his name in the lineup as the starting pitcher.

“It was nerve-wracking,’’ Murphy said. “On the bus ride over I had my headphones in, kept to myself. They (the Rangers) have a great lineup.’’

Murphy, working with catcher John Jaso, was their match. Murphy told Jaso he’d been working on a cutter, Jaso called for it a few times and “that pitch was the difference for him today,’’ the catcher said. “He did a nice job.’’

Murphy didn’t allow a run in 4.1 innings, giving up one hit and one walk.

“He was a little nervous there at first, but he settled in,’’ Melvin said. “We know who he is now.’’

John Hickey

Returning to the Oakland A's beat after a dozen years covering the Seattle Mariners. Covered the A's through the late 1980s and 1990s.