While the short-term goal for Ryan Dempster is to continue finding a comfort zone with the Texas Rangers, the bigger picture is helping his team hold off the New York Yankees for the best record in the AL as the division leaders meet in the Bronx on Monday to start a crucial four-game series.
Both the Rangers (67-46) and Yankees (67-47) have comfortable cushions atop their respective divisions with Texas enjoying the largest margin, a 6 1/2-game bulge over Oakland in the West. New York owns a five-game advantage in the East over Tampa Bay.
Dempster (1-0, 6.35 ERA) was acquired by the two-time reigning AL champions prior to the trade deadline to shore up their rotation after a season-ending elbow injury to Colby Lewis. The right-hander bounced back from a horrific first start with the Rangers to pick up his first win with the team Tuesday, giving up three unearned runs in 6 2-3 innings of a 6-3 victory at Boston.
"He's a veteran and he's an easygoing guy to begin with, but I think...