Matchup: Ryan Dempster vs. A.J. Griffin
Dempster (12-8, 3.18 ERA): The 35-year-old righty will make his 12th start for Texas since being acquired from the Chicago Cubs on July 31. ... He has seven wins since Aug. 1, which is tied for the AL lead with Tampa Bay's Alex Cobb. ... But Dempster is 1-2 with a 6.32 ERA in his past three starts, which has pushed his overall ERA over 3.00. ... He has quality starts in six of his past eight and will be working on regular rest after giving up four runs on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings against the Angels on Friday. ... Dempster won his only career outing against the A's, back on June 16, 2010 (in interleague play with the Cubs). ... In his seven wins, he has a 1.75 ERA, and all have been quality starts. In his four other starts, he's 0-3 with an 11.44 ERA.
Griffin (7-1, 2.71 ERA): This is his 15th start of the season and seventh since he was reinstated from the DL on Sept. 1. ... Was 4-1 with a 3.09 ERA in six starts in September. ... Griffin's .875 winning percentage is the second-best in Oakland history among rookies with five or more decisions. ... He's 3-0 with a 0.72 ERA in four starts versus the AL West. Opponents have batted just .198 in that span. ... He was the winning pitcher in Oakland's victory over Seattle on Friday, giving up one run on four hits with two walks and four strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. ... He has a no-decision in his only start against the Rangers, a 4-3 loss in Arlington on June 29. He allowed no runs in six innings.
Hitters: Stephen Drew (5-for-11, HR, 5 RBIs), Seth Smith (4-for-11, 2 doubles, HR, 4 RBIs) and George Kottaras (2-for-6, HR) have hit Dempster well. ... He's held Brandon Moss and Coco Crisp to 0-for-6 combined with two strikeouts. ... Only two Rangers have hits off Griffin -- Nelson Cruz (1-for-2) and Josh Hamilton (1-for-3).
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss Ron Washington's decision to send Yu Darvish to the mound for the eighth inning Thursday night and how he would handle a situation like that if he were still a GM.
Play Podcast Randy Galloway, Matt Mosley and Glenn "Stretch" Smith discuss the latest Rangers news, including the Yu Darvish-Justin Verlander matchup.
Play Podcast Nelson Cruz joins Galloway & Company to discuss the Rangers' series in Oakland, his ups and downs at the plate and if the PED talks before the season were a distraction.
Play Podcast Rangers manager Ron Washington joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett live from Oakland for his weekly visit.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway & Company to discuss his role with the Rangers. Ryan says that he has not been in contact with the Astros about a possible opening and he doesn't think that he would be interested anyway.
Play Podcast Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett for his weekly visit and wastes no time sounding off on MLB umpire Angel Hernandez.
Play Podcast Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland joins GAC from Milwaukee to discuss what it was like facing former teammate Scott Feldman, Texas' upcoming series and more.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett live from Milwaukee for his weekly visit and discusses Nick Tepesch, the Rangers' rotation, interleague play and more.