Rapid Reaction: Yankees 8, Rangers 2
NEW YORK -- The Texas Rangers opened their four-game series at Yankee Stadium with an 8-2 loss to the New York Yankees on Monday night.
What it means: Like so many pitchers before him, Ryan Dempster is having an extremely difficult time making the transition from the National League to the American League. The Rangers’ prized trade-deadline acquisition was tagged for eight runs (all earned) on nine hits in six innings. In three starts with Texas, the 35-year-old right-hander is 1-1 with an 8.31 ERA (16 earned runs in 17 1/3 innings).
Throttled in the third: During a 31-pitch third inning in which he faced 10 hitters, Dempster allowed five runs on five hits and walked two. The big blow during the frame came off the bat of Nick Swisher, who pulverized a 1-0 fastball into the second deck in right with one out for his sixth career grand slam -- and 200th career homer -- to put the Yankees ahead 4-2.
Consider: Dempster had given up six runs only once in 16 starts with the Chicago Cubs this season (2.25 ERA). He’s already done so twice with Texas (also eight earned runs in 4 2/3 innings in his Rangers debut Aug. 2 versus the Angels).
Elias says: Dempster has given up 10 career grand slams, one shy of tying Kenny Rogers for the all-time record. Nolan Ryan and Mike Jackson also have given up 10.
Can’t beat 'em: Dempster is 0-4 in five career starts against the Yankees with a 7.62 ERA (24 earned runs in 28 1/3 innings).
And so it continues: Josh Hamilton extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a bloop single down the left-field line in the eighth.
Murph Dog: David Murphy, the team’s leading hitter since the All-Star break, slugged his first homer since July 27 -- and 10th of the season -- leading off the second. He also doubled in the fourth.
King of the diamond: Elvis Andrus went 2-for-4 with a run scored Monday night and is hitting .400 (20-for-50) in his past 11 games.
Baserunning blunders: David Phelps picked off Ian Kinsler at first in the second and Andrus at second in the third.
Cruuuuz: Nelson Cruz had two hits and an RBI to extend his hitting streak to a season-high eight games.
Up next: LHP Matt Harrison (13-6, 3.31 ERA) looks to get the Rangers back on track against Yankees RHP Hiroki Kuroda on Tuesday night in the Bronx.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.