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#ASGWorthy Murphy raking for red-hot Nats

Second baseman homers, tallies 4 hits in rout of A's
MLB.com @JamalCollier

OAKLAND -- A year after he shattered almost every one of his career-high offensive statistics, Daniel Murphy is on pace to match or break those numbers again. His excellence since joining the Nationals continued during Washington's 13-3 drubbing of the A's on Friday night, and Murphy was once again in the center of it.

He matched a career high with four hits, including a solo homer in the third inning, as he continued to compile another strong season. Murphy, who leads National League second basemen on the Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot, is now hitting .335/.388/.574 with 10 home runs.

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OAKLAND -- A year after he shattered almost every one of his career-high offensive statistics, Daniel Murphy is on pace to match or break those numbers again. His excellence since joining the Nationals continued during Washington's 13-3 drubbing of the A's on Friday night, and Murphy was once again in the center of it.

He matched a career high with four hits, including a solo homer in the third inning, as he continued to compile another strong season. Murphy, who leads National League second basemen on the Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot, is now hitting .335/.388/.574 with 10 home runs.

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"He has an idea, and it starts with an idea," manager Dusty Baker said. "And an idea turns into a reality. He uses the whole field, that's the key. He's good against left and right. And he thinks he can hit. That's the other part of it. You have to be very confident in your ability, but he's very humble about it at the same time."

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for Murphy and other #ASGWorthy players

Murphy's idea amounts to a gameplan at the plate and his obsession with talking hitting spills over to his teammates. The Nationals' offense has been one of the best in baseball this season, and Friday night they collected 20 hits and scored 13 runs without Bryce Harper in the lineup.

"We were able to put sustained pressure on the opposing pitcher," Murphy said. "Anytime you get traffic on the basepaths, it opens up holes. … It just puts the opposing pitcher in high-leverage situations."

Murphy's career renaissance since the second half of the 2015 season has been well-documented, but if there was any concern that perhaps he would eventually slow down or revert to the player he once was, it should have faded by now. He has transformed himself in the later stages of his career and Baker believes it will only continue.

"He takes care of himself," Baker said. "And so barring injury, this should go on for a while."

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Daniel Murphy