(Reuters) - The New York Yankees blasted the Texas Rangers and their recently acquired pitcher Ryan Dempster 8-2 on Monday to take over top spot in the American League.
In the series opener between the best two teams in the AL, the Yankees issued a strong statement of intent in front of their home fans by scoring eight unanswered runs to make it a miserable day for Dempster after Texas had started brightly.
In just his third start for the Rangers (67-47) after the team traded for him to bolster their ailing pitching staff, Dempster was charged with all eight runs in just six innings.
Nick Swisher led the power surge with a grand slam in the third inning that put the Yankees (68-47) 4-2 ahead and they never looked back.
Swisher finished with five RBIs and Eric Chavez also homered for New York as they drew first blood in the four-game series.
Starter David Phelps, deputizing for the injured C.C. Sabathia in the rotation, tossed five innings for the win while reliever Derek Lowe handled the final four scoreless innings to secure the save.
(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by John O'Brien)
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