ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers starter Ryan Dempster was quick to heap praise on his new offense Thursday. It wasn't the debut Dempster had planned, but the trade-deadline acquisition still managed a no-decision against the Los Angeles Angels and left with the game close despite allowing eight runs on nine hits in 4 2/3 innings.
"They keep coming nonstop," Dempster said of the offense after the Rangers' 15-9 win. "They are relentless. As a pitcher, that's a great feeling. I was a little frustrated giving up the lead a couple of times. We kept fighting back."
Of the nine hits Dempster allowed, six went for extra bases. The eight runs were a season-high for him. He had allowed only seven combined runs over seven June and July starts for the Chicago Cubs. Of course, that was in the National League. Dempster got a taste of what it's like to face a powerful lineup like the Angels' at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, which included a jet stream and a game time temperature of 102 degrees. Dempster didn't use any of that as an excuse or the fact that he's now pitching in more meaningful games.
"It just came down to lack of execution on some pitches and I'll try to better that next time," Dempster said. "It's hot. But it's been hot plenty of times when I've been out there pitching. You try to make pitches and go from there.
"For me the pressure is always the same. You're going to try to go out there and make pitches regardless of what the situation is. It really is that simple. You have to make pitches when you need to. Today I didn't do a very good job of that, but the guys bailed me out and scored a bunch of runs and we won the game."
Even though Dempster just arrived Wednesday, he sensed how important the come-from-behind win was for the Rangers and then continuing that with a win Thursday to get the AL West lead over Los Angeles back to five games.
"Any time you're playing a team in your division, those games are always important," said Dempster, wearing a red plaid sports coat for the club's plane ride to Kansas City. "So to split a series when you have the potential last night to be down 3-0 in the series, it was a big win tonight."