ARLINGTON, Texas – Ryan Dempster pitched eight innings, his longest outing in more than two months and his best since being traded to Texas, and the AL West-leading Rangers beat the surprising Baltimore Orioles 5-1 on Monday night.
Dempster (2-1 in Texas, 7-6 overall) retired the last 11 batters he faced. The right-hander acquired from the Chicago Cubs on July 31 allowed one run and four hits.
David Murphy had two RBI singles for the Rangers, who opened a 10-game homestand. All nine Texas starters had a hit.
Miguel Gonzalez (5-3), who had won his previous three decisions, gave up four runs in five innings.
The Orioles have still won 11 of their last 16 games.
Joe Nathan struck out the side in the ninth.
Dempster was pitching on extra rest after missing the weekend series in his native Canada for personal reasons. While he wasn't with the Rangers for the three games in Toronto and missed his scheduled start Saturday, he threw a bullpen session over the weekend.
In his 16 starts for the Cubs before the trade, Dempster had a 2.25 ERA and pitched eight innings twice. The last time was June 10 at Minnesota.
After giving up eight runs twice, Dempster had an 8.31 ERA in his first three starts for Texas.
Dempster needed only three pitches to get the first two Baltimore batters out before Nate McLouth doubled and scored on Adam Jones' soft single. That was the only run the Orioles got.
Only two runners reached second base against Dempster after that, and the last Baltimore batter to reach was Nick Markakis with a one-out single in the fifth. Dempster struck out six and walked two while throwing 111 pitches.
The Rangers took the lead for good with three runs in the fourth.
Gonzalez, who had won three consecutive decisions, gave up hits to the first two batters he faced. But the right-hander couldn't get out of a similar jam in the fourth.
Adrian Beltre had a leadoff single before Nelson Cruz walked. Murphy blooped a one-out single to left to tie the game at 1. Geovany Soto followed with an RBI single before Mitch Moreland reached on an infield single. Ian Kinsler hit a sacrifice fly to make it 3-1.
Kinsler walked twice and was 1 for 2, but still had only six hits in 48 at-bats over his last 13 games.
Josh Hamilton led off the fifth with a single and scored on a double by Cruz.
Notes: Orioles 1B/DH Jim Thome, out since July 27 with a herniated disk in his neck, will start swinging off a tee and in the cages this week. Manager Buck Showalter says Thome will start his rehab Wednesday in Sarasota, Fla. ... Rangers SS Elvis Andrus had a standout defensive play in the fifth when he made a backhanded stop deep in the hole and threw out Manny Manchado at first base. ... Jones had two singles but is homerless in 88 at-bats. ... Markakis was 1 for 3 with a walk and is hitting .333 in 37 games as Baltimore's leadoff hitter.