In two key starts - against the Angels and Yankees - Dempster both times allowed nine hits and eight earned runs, evincing considerable consternation among the Texas brass and Ranger fans.
Monday's effort was a bit closer to what was expected: Dempster allowed four hits and only one earned run over eight solid innings, guiding the Rangers to a 5-1 win over the wild card-contending Orioles.
Fanning six while walking two, Dempster picked up his second win as a Texas Ranger, getting the three-game series with the visiting O's off to a strong start.
The win improved the Texas lead in the AL West to six games over Oakland. The A's dropped a 7-2 decision to the Twins.
Sooner or later, somebody was going to cool off the Reds; suitably, the reigning NL East champion Phillies did it with a barrage of 15 hits in a 12-5 stomping to open a four-game series in Philadelphia.
The speedy Pierre was 3-for-4, with a pair of singles and a double, two stolen bases, three runs and an RBI, raising his batting average to .312, though he doesn't have enough at-bats (311) to qualify amongst NL batting leaders.
Despite the loss, the Reds maintained their 6 1/2 game lead over the Pirates in the NL Central as Pittsburgh lost, 3-1, at San Diego.
The Reds, who had won three in a row and eight of their last nine before hitting the road to Philly, will try to get back on track when the series resumes Tuesday night.