The veteran will look to win his fifth consecutive start when he faces the reeling Cleveland Indians on Wednesday night in Arlington.
Dempster (5-1, 4.36 ERA), acquired in a trade with the Chicago Cubs on July 31, began his Rangers tenure by allowing 19 runs over his first three starts - far below expectations after posting a 2.25 ERA with the Cubs.
He seems to have settled in now, though, winning his last four outings with a 1.73 ERA.
The right-hander gave up two runs and struck out eight - his most in seven starts with Texas - in six innings of a 7-6 win over Kansas City last Wednesday."You know, I was in a situation where I was pitching for pride (with the Cubs)," Dempster said. "Now I'm just trying to do my best every fifth day."
Dempster allowed an unearned run and two hits while striking out seven in six innings of a 5-3 win over Cleveland on Aug. 31, improving to 2-0 with a 0.98 ERA in three career starts versus the Indians.
AL-best Texas (84-57) beat Cleveland 6-4 in the series opener Tuesday in its return home from a 10-game road trip, which began by taking two of three against the Indians from Aug. 31-Sept. 2.
Adrian Beltre , hitting .383 with six home runs over his last 11 games, hit his 31st homer and is 11 for 22 with four homers versus Cleveland in 2012. His home run Tuesday hit the top of the wall and was initially ruled a double. The umpires ruled it a homer after reviewing the replay."The way it bounced ... it had to hit something," manager Ron Washington said.
Indians manager Manny Acta disagreed."In the replays we have here it looks kind of inconclusive," he said. "Talking to the umpire, he felt it hit some metal bar back there behind the padding."
The Rangers have won 12 of their last 16 at home and 11 of the last 13 meetings in Arlington with the Indians (59-83), who are tied with Minnesota for the AL's worst record.
Cleveland has lost 22 of its last 26 on the road, and general manager Chris Antonetti, who has previously stated his confidence in Acta, is in Texas to observe the series."Things haven't gone right the whole second half," Acta said. "We're battling, we're keeping our head up and trying to finish strong."
The Indians will look to end a five-game road losing streak to the Rangers with help from Jeanmar Gomez , who has been solid versus Texas this season.
Gomez (5-7, 5.33) beat the Rangers on Sept. 1 after giving up three runs - including solo homers by Beltre and David Murphy - in 5 2-3 innings of a 4-3 victory for his second win versus Texas in 2012. He gave up three runs in seven innings of a 6-3 victory May 4.
The right-hander, though, wasn't as good during Cleveland's 7-6 win over Minnesota on Friday, allowing four runs and walking three in three innings.
"Gomez just wasn't aggressive enough," Acta told the team's official website.
|September 09, 2012||Asdrubal Cabrera||Day-to-Day||Left game - sore right wrist|
|August 27, 2012||Roberto Hernandez||Day-to-Day||Left game - sprained right ankle|
|August 13, 2012||Josh Tomlin||60-Day DL||Right elbow inflammation|
|August 13, 2012||Jason Kipnis||Day-to-Day||Stiff neck|
|August 06, 2012||Travis Hafner||Day-to-Day||Back soreness|
|August 06, 2012||Travis Hafner||15-Day DL||Lower back inflammation|
|September 09, 2012||Roy Oswalt||Day-to-Day||Left game - sore right elbow|
|September 02, 2012||Ian Kinsler||Day-to-Day||Lower back stiffness|
|August 31, 2012||Tyler Tufts||15-Day DL||Surgery, perforated bowel|
|August 30, 2012||Robbie Ross||15-Day DL||Strained left forearm|
|August 28, 2012||Nelson Cruz||Day-to-Day||Left game - bruised left elbow|
|August 22, 2012||Yu Darvish||Day-to-Day||Right quad tightness|
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre didn't need to play the entire game to make their mark Wednesday night.
The Rangers will now wait and see if their top two sluggers will be sidelined.
Hamilton and Beltre homered before each left the game with injuries, and Texas beat the slumping Cleveland Indians 5-2.
Hamilton left in the eighth with left knee soreness and Beltre exited in the fifth with a strained left shoulder. Beltre had an MRI on Wednesday night and the results won't be known until Thursday. Texas manager Ron Washington said taking Hamilton out of the game was precautionary and he didn't consider the injury serious.
"Hopefully, things won't last long with those guys," Washington said. "But we certainly can't stop the season, so we're going to play with what we've got and we're going to expect to win."
Beltre injured his shoulder when he made a diving stop of Russ Canzler 's grounder in the second.
Mike Olt , who replaced Beltre at third, left the game in the bottom of the seventh with plantar fasciitis in his right foot. Olt, who will have an MRI Thursday, was limping just before he reached first beating out an infield single.
Ian Kinsler moved to third base for the first time in his career in the top of the eighth, and Jurickson Profar took over for Kinsler at second base.
"Hopefully it's just precautionary," Kinsler said of his teammates' injuries.
Beltre hit a two-run homer in the first, his 13th in his last 20 games, and Hamilton added a solo shot in the third to help Ryan Dempster win his fifth straight start.
Dempster (11-6) improved to 6-1 since he was acquired by the Rangers on July 31. The right-hander allowed two runs and struck out eight in seven innings.
"I just try to do my job the same way, try to execute and make as many pitches as possible," Dempster said.
Carlos Santana and Casey Kotchman each had an RBI for Cleveland, which led the AL Central on June 23 but is 15-43 since the All-Star break.
Cleveland starter Jeanmar Gomez (5-8) allowed five runs and six hits in four innings. Gomez, who won his prior two starts against Texas this season, has not pitched more than six innings in his last nine starts.
"(Gomez) didn't have good stuff and couldn't locate his pitches," Cleveland manager Manny Acta said. "They took advantage of it."
Joe Nathan , who has converted his last 31 save opportunities, pitched the ninth for his 33rd save of the season.
First-place Texas maintained a three-game lead in the AL West over Oakland, which beat the Los Angeles Angels 4-1.
Kinsler led off the bottom of the first with a double and scored on Hamilton's groundout to set the stage for a surging Beltre. Beltre hit a 1-0 pitch from Gomez over the fence in left to give the Rangers a 3-0 lead. It was his seventh home run in September.
Hamilton's 434-foot blast landed several rows deep in the upper deck in right field. He leads the majors with 41 home runs and 121 RBIs.
That was plenty of support for Dempster, who retired the last nine batters he faced. Dempster has a 1.91 ERA over his last five starts. His eight strikeouts were his most since joining the Rangers.
Notes: Texas RHP Roy Oswalt (right forearm strain) said he plans to throw on Thursday. He left his start early Sunday against Tampa Bay. . Indians SS Asdrubal Cabrera (sore right wrist) took batting practice Wednesday, but missed his third straight game. . Cleveland RHP Roberto Hernandez (right ankle) is out of his walking boot and is expected to throw a bullpen session early next week. . Texas' Mike Adams said he felt tightness in a muscle near his right shoulder Tuesday night and the reliever likely won't pitch the next two to three days. . Cleveland's Travis Hafner (back) is expected to take batting practice on Friday. . Texas opens the 2013 season at Houston, who will be playing their first season in the AL West. . Texas C Mike Napoli (strained left quad) hit a two-run homer and caught the entire game in a rehab assignment for Double-A Frisco.