The right-hander looks to bounce back from a rough debut with his new team and help the AL West-leading Rangers avoid a third consecutive loss Tuesday night against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.
Dempster (0-0, 15.43 ERA) went 5-5 with a 2.25 ERA in 16 starts for the Chicago Cubs this year, but allowed a season-high eight runs and nine hits - two homers - in 4 2-3 innings of a 15-9 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday in his first start since Texas (63-45) acquired him two days prior.
"The most important thing was I kept the team in the ballgame and gave us a chance to win," Dempster told the Rangers' official website. "I'm not really used to that, giving up eight runs."
Dempster allowed five hits in seven innings of a 3-0 win over Boston at Wrigley Field on June 15. This will be his first outing at Fenway since June 12, 2001, when he lost while pitching for the Marlins.
He'll face a Boston squad that's looking for a third straight win after pounding out eight doubles in a 9-2 victory in Monday's series opener. Dustin Pedroia doubled three times while Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford each had two as the Red Sox (55-55) increased their major league-leading doubles total to 243.
Boston had been outscored 39-12 while losing four of its previous five against Texas this season. The victory came hours after owner John Henry publicly gave first-year manager Bobby Valentine a vote of confidence despite the team's mediocre season.
"Our job is to go out and play," said first baseman Adrian Gonzalez , who went 3 for 5 with three RBIs. "It's us that are playing out there so the .500 record we're at right now, it's on us. It's not on Bobby."
Crawford, who went 0 for 10 with five strikeouts during a three-game set at Texas last month, is 9 for 18 with eight RBIs in his last four games.
The Red Sox now hand the ball to Jon Lester (5-9, 5.36), who is 0-4 with a 7.91 ERA in six starts since the beginning of July. Though he's posted a 10.62 ERA while losing his last four home outings, Lester showed improvement Thursday, when he gave up three runs and struck out seven with no walks in eight innings of a 5-0 loss to Minnesota at Fenway.
"I need to keep sticking with the process," Lester said. "Obviously, the results aren't there and a loss is a loss."
The left-hander is certainly hoping for a better effort than his last versus the Rangers on April 17, when he gave up seven runs and walked four in two-plus innings of an 18-3 home loss. Lester had been 2-1 with a 2.97 ERA in five starts against Texas from 2009-11.
Nelson Cruz - 8 for 14 with two doubles, a triple and a home run against Lester - had two doubles and a single Monday. He's a lifetime .415 hitter with eight doubles in 13 games at Fenway.
Texas shortstop Elvis Andrus is expected to be in the lineup after missing Monday's game with a sore shoulder. The All-Star is 11 for 25 with seven RBIs in his last five games after going 1 for 19 in his previous five.
|August 05, 2012||Elvis Andrus||Day-to-Day||Left game - shoulder soreness|
|July 19, 2012||Colby Lewis||60-Day DL||Torn flexor tendon, right elbow|
|July 06, 2012||Josh Hamilton||Day-to-Day||Left game - Lower back spasms|
|June 26, 2012||Mark Lowe||15-Day DL||Strained right intercostal muscle|
|June 24, 2012||Colby Lewis||15-Day DL||Right forearm tendinitis|
|June 24, 2012||Colby Lewis||15-Day DL||Right forearm tendinitis|
|Boston Red Sox|
|July 31, 2012||Ryan Sweeney||15-Day DL||Fractured left hand|
|July 31, 2012||Josh Beckett||Day-to-Day||Left game - lower back spasms|
|July 29, 2012||Daniel Nava||15-Day DL||Sprained left wrist|
|July 21, 2012||Mike Aviles||Day-to-Day||Turf toe|
|July 17, 2012||David Ortiz||15-Day DL||Right Achilles strain|
|July 14, 2012||Scott Atchison||15-Day DL||Right forearm tightness|
BOSTON (AP) -- - That's the Ryan Dempster the Texas Rangers hoped they got at the trade deadline.
Dempster rebounded from a rough debut with Texas by pitching shutout ball into the seventh inning, Ian Kinsler had a pair of RBI singles and the Rangers snapped a two-game losing streak with a 6-3 win over the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night.
"Anytime you have a rough one you want to get out there the next day," Dempster said. "Those five days take a long time. I think just knowing the lineup a little bit facing these guys. I was able to use the fastball and had a good split."
Dempster (1-0) allowed three unearned runs, six hits, struck out six and walked one in 6 2-3 innings.
Acquired from the Chicago Cubs minutes before last week's non-waiver trade deadline, he was tagged for eight runs in 4 2-3 innings by the Angels in his first Rangers' start on Thursday.
On Tuesday, he showed why he was the one of the top prizes at the deadline.
"Even though he gave up all those runs against Anaheim, he kept us in that ballgame and we won that ballgame," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He had a two-point-something ERA, leading the National League in ERA, leading the National League in (batting average) against. We know he's capable of getting outs, and he proved that tonight, without a shadow of a doubt. We're very happy to have him. We certainly need his leadership in the front part of our rotation."
Rangers outfielder David Murphy knew how Dempster felt, having been dealt by Boston to the Rangers at the deadline in 2007.
"He's a veteran and he's an easygoing guy to begin with, but I think as a man you want to earn your keep," he said. "Obviously after not having his best stuff his first outing, he wanted to turn that around as quickly as possible. I think he did that tonight."
Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz each had two hits and drove in a run for Texas.
Will Middlebrooks had a pinch-hit three-run homer for the Red Sox, who have lost five of seven.
The AL West-leading Rangers have lost three straight only three times this season.
Jon Lester (5-10) gave up four runs on six hits in 6 2-3 innings. He's 0-5 in his last six starts.
"It's another heck of a performance. We didn't score the runs and he didn't get the breaks," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. "Couple of curveballs to a couple of left-handers wound up hurting him."
Lester, expected to be one of the club's top starters, hasn't won since June 27.
"I can't keep talking about being frustrated and all this stuff," he said. "Everybody obviously knows here that we're frustrated and we don't like losing. ... But there's positives for me personally in this game that I'm going to take and go forward to the next one."
Boston's Dustin Pedroia was called out on an attempted check swing by first base umpire Paul Nauert in the eighth and ejected in the top of the ninth.
"It looked like he checked his swing from our vantage point," said Valentine, who came out after his second baseman was tossed.
Until Middlebrooks belted his homer, it was very similar to when Dempster faced the Red Sox earlier this season.
He mixed a sharp splitter with a well-spotted fastball to keep Boston's hitters off-balance.
Joe Nathan worked the ninth for his 22nd save.
With Texas leading 4-0 and two outs in the seventh, Kinsler misplayed Ryan Kalish 's grounder for an error. Middlebrooks followed by hitting the first pitch over the Green Monster - where a fan reached out to grab the ball near the top of the wall. The call was reviewed and upheld after a lengthy review.
Cruz's RBI single made it 5-3 in the eighth. Hamilton's single made it 6-3 in the ninth.
Dempster worked seven shutout innings against Boston in Chicago's win on June 15.
The Rangers broke a scoreless tie with a pair of runs in the sixth. After taking a close pitch for a ball with a 1-2 count, Murphy had a leadoff double. One out later, Kinsler singled off the top of the left-field wall, advanced on a groundout and scored on Hamilton's single to right.
In the seventh, Murphy had a sacrifice fly and Kinsler added an RBI single, making it 4-0.
Carl Crawford doubled in the first, but was picked off second. Cody Ross opened the second with a double, but was stranded.
Dempster then retired 14 of the next 15 - allowing only Ross' two-out double in the fourth - until he walked Pedroia in the sixth.
The Red Sox were coming off an eight-double game in Monday's win and three of the first four balls they hit into play Tuesday night were off the Monster, including two doubles.
NOTES: Rangers SS Andrus was back in the lineup after missing Monday's game with a sore right shoulder. ... Texas C Mike Napoli didn't start after catching four straight games. ... Boston's David Ortiz , on the 15-day DL since July 18 with a strained right Achilles, took batting practice on the field and said hopes to return this weekend when the Red Sox play in Cleveland. ... For the second straight day, Rangers OF Hamilton spent a long time signing autographs, posing for pictures and joking with the fans on the field next to Texas' dugout during BP. ... Boston RHP Clay Buchholz wore a large Frisbee-type disc around his neck for a good portion of BP. ... Shawn Thornton, Tuukka Rask and Daniel Paille of the Boston Bruins took BP on the field about 3 1/2 hours before the game.