ARLINGTON -- Ryan Dempster allowed one run in eight innings, and David Murphy drove in a pair of runs as the Rangers opened a 10-game homestand with a 5-1 victory over Baltimore.
The win put the Rangers in position to up their lead in the American League West to six games, depending on how the A's fare in a late game. The Rangers now lead the Angels by 9 1/2 games.
Baltimore struck in the first with two outs on a double by Nate McLouth that Nelson Cruz appeared to misjudge and a soft liner by Adam Jones that popped out of Mitch Moreland's glove after he jumped to grab it.
But Dempster would allow only two more hits over the next five innings as the Rangers' offense found its footing against Miguel Gonzalez. They gathered four singles, a walk and a sacrifice fly in a three-run fourth to take their first lead at 3-1, and Nelson Cruz doubled home Josh Hamilton an inning later.
Murphy, who singled in the first run, added an insurance run with a single in the eighth after Michael Young had opened the inning with a double.
Dempster was at his best after allowing a one-out single to Nick Markakis in the fifth. He retired the final 11 batters he faced after a Nick Markakis single in the fifth.
Elvis Andrus provided a dazzling defensive play a batter earlier, going into the hole and throwing while leaping toward the left-field line to get rookie Manny Machado.
-- Jeff Wilson