ARLINGTON – Ryan Dempster made his third start against the Los Angeles Angels and it went better than the first two. Not that much better, though.
Dempster gave up four runs over 5 2/3 innings, and the Angels held on for a 7-4 victory over the Texas Rangers on Friday night.
The Rangers magic number remains at three with five to play. They could see their lead in the American League West drop to three games if Oakland defeats Seattle later tonight.
Dempster’s night didn’t get off to a great start when Mike Trout started the game with a solo shot to center field. Chris Ianetta, the Angels’ No. 9 batter, went deep in the third inning to give them a 2-0 lead.
The Angels took a 3-0 lead in the fourth with a run-scoring double by Mark Trumbo, but the Rangers answered in the bottom half with a sacrifice fly by Nelson Cruz to score Josh Hamilton.
The Angels pulled away with three runs in the seventh, all charged to Rangers left-hander Robbie Ross. Texas scored a run in the bottom of the seventh on a solo home run by Cruz, who set a career-high with 88 RBIs.
Those two runs were the only the Rangers would score against Angels ace Jered Weaver, who went seven innings.
Dempster, meanwhile, allowed four runs on seven hits with four walks and seven strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings.
The Rangers pulled back within striking distance in the eighth. Adrian Beltre ripped a two-run homer to left to cut the deficit to 7-4, but that was as close as the Rangers would get.
Angels closer Ernesto Frieri worked a perfect ninth for his 23rd save.-- Drew Davison