Week ahead: Baltimore, Minnesota at home

The Texas Rangers return home and essentially finish the month of August in the friendly confines of Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. A quick look at the upcoming schedule and a few things to keep an eye on:

* Baltimore comes to town currently in one of the AL Wild Card positions, a half-game ahead of Oakland and two up on Detroit. So the Orioles have plenty to play for here in late August.

* Ryan Dempster returns to the mound tonight after missing his start this weekend because of personal reasons. He's had an up-and-down start to his Ranger season after pitching so consistently with the Chicago Cubs. He'll look to pitch well tonight and get the homestand started on the right foot for Texas.

* Tonight is ESPN Dallas Rangers blog night at the park. It's a fancy name, but a relaxed event. Rangers assistant GM Thad Levine will conduct a quick Q&A with those of you coming to the game at 6 p.m. in the center field office building. Meet in the lobby around 5:50 p.m. and we'll go up to talk to Thad together. Email me at rdurrettjr@aol.com if you have any questions.

* Rangers fans will get to see Tommy Hunter, a former Ranger, when he starts on Wednesday against Derek Holland.

* The Twins come to town for four games starting Thursday. Minnesota is 20 games under .500 and last in the AL Central. It's a weak opponent sandwiched between two teams fighting for the playoffs (the red-hot Tampa Bay Rays come to town early next week).

* Michael Young returns home coming off one of his better offensive games of the season. He had a home run (he hadn't hit one since May) and a double in his first five-RBI game of the season. He ended up a triple shy of the cycle.

* Matt Harrison won't be on the mound against the Orioles after his solid performance on Sunday in Toronto. But he'll face the Twins and then should start the final game of the homestand against the Rays.