(Sports Network) - After some tough goings early, Ryan Dempster has begun to
acclimate himself to the American League.
The veteran takes the hill for the Texas Rangers on Wednesday evening aiming
to win a fifth straight start in the middle contest of a three-game series
with the Cleveland Indians.
The Rangers acquired Dempster from the Chicago Cubs prior to the non-waiver
trade deadline in an effort to bolster their playoff chances, but the right-
hander struggled through his first three outings. He went 1-1, but allowed 19
runs (16 earned) over 17 1/3 innings.
Dempster, who spent his first 14-plus seasons in the NL, has pitched to a 1.73
ERA however since giving up eight runs in a loss to the New York Yankees on
Aug. 13. He won his fourth start in a row on Wednesday at the Kansas City
Royals, charged with two runs on four hits and two walks in six innings while
striking out eight.
"To get to the playoffs, I'm just trying to do my part every fifth day and be
as prepared as I can," said Dempster, who is now 5-1 with a 4.36 ERA in seven
starts with Texas. "When my number's up, go out there and do the best that I
The right-hander's current win streak also includes a win over the Indians on
Aug. 31. Pitching at Cleveland, the 35-year-old Dempster gave up one unearned
run over six frames, making him 2-0 with a 2.79 ERA in four lifetime meetings
with the Tribe, including three starts.
Dempster's start comes after Matt Harrison took the hill in Tuesday's opener
and guided the Rangers to a 6-4 win.
Harrison had struggled in his previous two outings, but did not allow a hit
over his first three innings of work. He ended up lasting 5 2/3 frames,
charged with two runs on five hits and three walks to claim his 16th win of
"That was really important because we need him," said Rangers manager Ron
Washington. "He used his slider well and when he got ready to throw his
fastball, it was there."
Adrian Beltre clubbed a solo homer -- one that needed to be confirmed
following a replay, and scored twice for the Rangers, who have won four of six
and maintained a three-game edge over the Oakland Athletics for first place in
the AL West.
Texas is 25-14 since the start of August.
Ubaldo Jimenez yielded five runs -- two earned -- on four hits and four walks
over five innings to take his fifth straight losing decision.
"I did everything possible to be close on the scoreboard," Jimenez said. "The
guys didn't give up, they didn't get disappointed. That's what we have to do
is finish the season strong."
Matt LaPorta smacked an RBI double in the setback, Cleveland's fourth in a
Getting the call tonight for the Indians will be Jeanmar Gomez, who lasted
only three innings in his last start on Friday. He yielded four runs on three
hits and three walks as he did not factor into a 7-6 win at the Minnesota
Gomez, a 24-year-old righty, is 5-7 with a 5.33 ERA in 17 games this season,
15 of those starts, and has made both of his previous career starts versus the
Rangers this season. Gomez has won both while giving up six runs over 12 2/3
This series marks the first in Texas between the Rangers and Indians after
they split six earlier encounters in Cleveland. Texas won nine of 10 versus
Cleveland a season ago.
The Sports Network