American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, August 2nd
(All times Eastern)
LA Angels of Anaheim (57-48) at Texas Rangers (60-43), 8:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: LA Angels - C.J. Wilson (9-7, 2.88)
Texas - Ryan Dempster (5-5, 2.25)
(Sports Network) - Ryan Dempster makes his first start as a member of the
Texas Rangers this evening when the American League West leaders close out a
four-game set with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
With Colby Lewis lost for the season, Roy Oswalt battling through back issues
and Yu Darvish seemingly hitting a wall, the Rangers had been in the market
for a starting pitcher. But after the Angels acquired Zack Greinke,
Philadelphia signed Cole Hamels to an extension and the asking price being
through the moon for both the Phillies' Cliff Lee and Miami's Josh Johnson,
Texas seemed to be running out of options.
But, right near Tuesday's non-waiver trade deadline, the Rangers swung a deal
with Chicago for Dempster, obtaining the right-hander for a pair of pitching
"He?s a veteran. He?s been through some wars before," said Rangers general
manager Jon Daniels, who team has won two straight AL pennants but no World
Dempster, who will replace Oswalt in the rotation, had power to block deals
and refused to approve a trade to Atlanta last week. Reports stated that he
only wanted to pitch for the Los Angeles Dodgers, but softened his stance and
added the Rangers and New York Yankees to his list of preferred teams.
A 15-year-veteran Dempster was 5-5 with a 2.25 ERA in 16 starts for the Cubs
and can become a free agent after the season.
A lifelong National Leaguer, Dempster is 5-6 with a 3.50 ERA in his last 14
starts against AL teams in Interleague Play. Tonight's start, though, will be
his first against the Angels.
"He's got savvy and tremendous pitchability," Rangers manager Ron Washington
said. "He's a competitor and he has one of the best ERAs in the National
League and one of the best opposing batting averages. He's a veteran. He could
be exactly what we are looking for in leading our young pitching staff."
After losing the first two games of their set with the Angels, the Rangers
managed to pick up a win on Wednesday, as Elvis Andrus capped a four-run 10th
inning with a two-run single down the third-base line, carrying Texas to a
wild, 11-10, win.
Chris Iannetta hit a solo home run and Albert Pujols hit his second two-run
shot of the game in the top of the 10th to give the Angels a 10-7 advantage.
Nelson Cruz led off the home 10th with a bomb to left-center field off Ernesto
Frieri, who also surrendered a game-tying home run to Ian Kinsler in the ninth
to force extra innings.
Michael Young then reached first on a fielding error by shortstop Andrew
Romine and David Murphy followed by working an 11-pitch walk to end Frieri's
Jason Isringhausen (3-1) came on next and gave up a base hit through the left
side of the infield from Mike Napoli to load the bases with no outs.
Mitch Moreland's base hit to right plated Young to bring Texas within 10-9
before Andrus pulled the game-winning hit on a 3-2 pitch down the line in left
to snap the Rangers' two-game losing streak. Andrus finished the game 4-for-6
with three RBI.
The Rangers, who found themselves down 7-1 after another poor showing from
Darvish, now lead the Angels by four games in the AL West.
"That's exactly what we needed. It was just a reminder of what we are capable
of right there," said Murphy. "I think anybody in here could say it was one of
the most dramatic and best wins they've ever seen."
Joe Nathan (2-3) received the win despite surrendering the home runs to
Iannetta and Pujols in the top of the 10th.
Tonight, the Angels will rely on left-hander C.J. Wilson, who is winless in
his last six starts (0-3). Wilson's latest setback came on Saturday against
Tampa Bay, as he allowed three runs (2 earned) and four hits in 6 2/3 innings
to fall to 9-7 to go along with a 2.88 ERA.
It was his first winless calendar month since becoming a full-time starter in
Wilson, who pitched the first seven years of his career in Arlington, has
faced his former team three times this season and is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA.
Despite Wednesday's loss, the Angels are 7-5 against the Rangers this season.
08/02 10:22:18 ET