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CLE@TEX: Dempster fans eight en route to his 11th win

The Rangers, clinging to a three-game lead in the American League West and facing the team most believed would be their stiffest competition in their division, send their hottest starter to the mound on Tuesday -- Ryan Dempster.

After going 1-1 with an 8.31 ERA in his first three outings with the Rangers this year, Dempster has won each of his past five starts, posting a 1.91 ERA over that stretch. He gave up two runs on seven hits over seven innings, striking out eight and walking one in a 5-2 win over the Indians on Wednesday.

"Sometimes, inning management is just as important as executing pitches," Dempster said after winning his fifth consecutive start. "I just kept trying to make pitches. I was trying to get some ground balls, get a double play and get out of the innings. I was able to make some pitches and get some strikeouts and get out of it."

Dempster will be looking to win his sixth game in a row in Tuesday's series opener when he faces an Angels team that tagged him for eight runs on nine hits in a season-low 4 2/3 innings during Dempster's Texas debut on Aug. 2.

The former Cubs ace will be going up against Angels ace Jered Weaver, who is 2-2 with a 4.95 ERA in his last six starts after going 15-1 with a 2.13 ERA in his first 20 starts of the year. Weaver will be followed in the rotation by C.J. Wilson and Zack Greinke, who will start Wednesday's and Thursday's games against the Rangers, respectively.

Pitching on 10 days' rest, Weaver picked up a win for the first time in three weeks in his last outing, tossing seven shutout innings while allowing only two hits, striking out nine and walking one in a 6-0 victory over the A's, one of two teams leading the AL Wild Card race. The other, the Orioles, hold a 2 1/2-game lead over the Angels.

"I don't know if you're going to be able to look ahead," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of his team's upcoming three-game series against the Rangers. "Every game on the schedule is tough. There's no way you can look at a team's record or look at a matchup and say we're going to breeze. That just doesn't happen in the Major Leauges."

Rangers: Grimm, Font called up
• Right-handed pitchers Wilmer Font and Justin Grimm were called up from Double-A Frisco on Sunday to give the Rangers' bullpen some depth. Grimm started the season with Frisco, whose season ended after a loss to Springfield on Saturday in the Texas League Championship Series, before making his Major League debut with the Rangers three months ago. The Rangers' 11th-best prospect, according to MLB.com, Grimm went 1-1 with a 10.80 ERA in three big league outings this season.

Font, the Rangers' sixth-best prospect, according to MLB.com, began the year with Class A Myrtle Beach and posted a 3.00 ERA in 10 appearances with Frisco, ending his stint with the RoughRiders by tossing eight straight scoreless innings. Font had Tommy John surgery in March.

"This season has done him well," manager Ron Washington said. "He looks good. We'll start him out in a non-taxing situation and just ask him to get outs."

• The Rangers announced that Martin Perez will take over for Scott Feldman in their rotation following their 2-1 win over the Mariners on Sunday. Perez was called up from Triple-A Round Rock on Sept. 1 and tossed 4 1/3 hitless innings in relief of Feldman in Saturday's 8-6 loss to the Mariners.

Feldman, who started the season 0-6 before winning six straight decisions to even his record, has since gone 0-5 with a 6.99 ERA in his past seven starts. He hasn't earned a win since Aug. 4. The Rangers considered using an upcoming off-day on Monday to skip Feldman's spot in the rotation, but instead opted to have Perez start against the Mariners on Friday and send Feldman to the bullpen.

Angels: Greinke turning in another impressive September
• As the Angels try to pull ahead in the AL Wild Card race, where they trail the Orioles by 2 1/2 games after taking two of three games against the Royals, they'll have one of the best September pitchers in the league at their disposal. Zack Greinke is 2-0 with a 1.61 ERA in three starts this month, the fourth-best ERA among qualifying AL pitchers, his only no-decision coming in his last start against the Royals, his former team, when he allowed only one run on five hits in 8 1/3 innings of a 3-2 loss on Saturday. In 30 career September starts, Greinke is 14-8 with a 3.24 ERA.

"He maintains his stuff throughout a season," Scioscia said. "He seems to finish strong. You're always going to lose something, but I think the attrition rate with his stuff declining is a lot slower than some of the other pitchers we've seen."

Worth noting
• Perez did not allow a hit in 4 1/3 scoreless innings of an 8-6 loss to the Mariners on Saturday, becoming the first Rangers reliever to throw that many innings without giving up a hit since Mark Branderburg tossed 4 2/3 hitless innings against the Mariners July 26, 1996.

• Mark Trumbo broke a 68 at-bat homerless streak with a three-run home run in the second inning off Will Smith in the Angels' 4-3 win over the Royals on Sunday.

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