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
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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.