The Texas Rangers try to continue their recent mastery of the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday when the two continue a three-game set at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
Texas beat the O's for the fourth time in five meetings this season in Monday's opener, as Ryan Dempster tossed eight strong innings to lead the Rangers to a 5-1 win.
Dempster allowed one run on four hits and two walks while striking out six. Joe Nathan tossed a perfect ninth to close out the game for Texas, which has won four of its last five overall and leads the AL West by six games over the Oakland Athletics.
"Your objective is always the same thing and that is to execute pitches no matter what the score is," Dempster said. "But any time that you are ahead in games like that and you have a little bit of cushion, when you get behind in the count you feel like you can maybe challenge a little bit more because a solo home run doesn't hurt you."
Miguel Gonzalez (5-3) surrendered four runs on eight hits and three walks through five innings for the Orioles, who had their two-game win streak stopped and fell to the Rangers for the ninth time in their last 10 tries.
Adam Jones collected a pair of hits while knocking in Baltimore's lone run.
"He's not blowing it by you, but he knows what he's doing. He kept the ball down and kept the ball off the barrel," Jones said about Dempster. "He did what he wanted to do."
Getting the call for the Rangers on Tuesday will be righty Scott Feldman, who has lost his last two starts. Feldman lost to the New York Yankees on Wednesday, as he allowed three runs and seven hits with four walks in six innings, dropping him to 6-8 to go along with a 4.63 ERA.
He had won his previous six decisions before this slide.
Feldman has faced the Orioles 11 times (5 starts) and is 4-0 against them with a 3.43 ERA.
Baltimore will counter with a righty of its own in Chris Tillman, who is 5-2 with a 3.65 ERA. Tillman did not get a decision on Thursday against Boston and didn't get out of the fifth inning, as he surrendered three runs and six hits in 4 2/3 frames of his team's 6-3 loss.
Tillman has split two starts against the Rangers and has pitched to a 3.38 ERA in those outings.