Red Sox starter Ryan Dempster gleefully watched his current teammates put up a football number on his former teammates in last night’s 17-5 victory over the mighty Rangers at Fenway Park.

“Two touchdowns and a field goal,” Dempster said after winning the opener of a three-game series against the team he finished the 2012 season with. “I like my chances when I get 17 runs and I feel pretty good about that.

“But it was just fun watching the guys swing the bats as well (as) they did today. I just kind of sit back and then try do my job to throw strikes and good pitches and try to get outs. When you have breathing room like that it is nice because you can throw it in the zone a lot more and get some good outs.”

The Red Sox have won eight of their last 11 games and are 13 games over .500, their highest mark since the conclusion of the 2011 season (90-72). The American League East-leading Sox have a league-best 36 wins, but Texas still has a better winning percentage (.614 to .610).

The Red Sox made an offensive statement against a team that has had their number during the past three seasons. The Rangers swept the Red Sox in Arlington, Texas, back in April and had won 9-of-11 against the Sox dating back to 2011. Texas outscored the Red Sox 86-47 over that stretch.

Eight Sox hitters had an extra-base hit off an assembly line of Texas pitchers. The Sox produced four home runs, a triple, eight doubles and six singles, and at least one run through each of the first seven innings. The Red Sox scored three unearned runs on two errors.

Leadoff man Daniel Nava went 3-for-4 with four runs, and his lone RBI came on a sacrifice fly turned into a three-base error by Texas right fielder Nelson Cruz. Designated hitter David Ortiz was 2-for-6 with a double and a triple plus three RBI. Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia was 3-for-5 with a home run, a double, three runs and two RBI.

Shortstop Stephen Drew was 4-for-5 with a home run, two doubles, three runs and two RBI. Even No. 9 hitter Jackie Bradley Jr. got into the act with his first major league home run, knocking in the first two runs of the Sox’ six-run, second-inning barrage against Texas starter Justin Grimm.

“I thought we did an outstanding job obviously up and down the lineup,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “I thought our guys quickly got a read on Grimm tonight with a lot of good swings. You can’t say enough about the hard contact we made and we ran the bases well. It was a very good offensive night.”

Dempster, who was coming off a 3-1 loss in a pitchers’ duel with Phillies ace Cliff Lee at Fenway on May 28, improved to 3-6 with a 4.39 ERA in 12 starts.

Dempster went seven innings and gave up three runs on five hits with a walk and six strikeouts and two home runs. He threw 107 pitches, 62 for strikes. He is tied with Clay Buchholz for the club lead with 77 strikeouts on the year.

“I had a good fastball and good command,” said Dempster. “The two pitches I got hurt on were both hanging sliders.

“Other than that I felt like I was able to command it for the most part and get out of there with a win.”