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Hunter, Rangers Look To Continue Winning Ways

(Sports Network) - After getting burned by a former teammate on Tuesday night, the Florida Marlins will try to prevent the Texas Rangers from claiming a fourth consecutive victory this evening in the middle portion of a three-game series at Sun Life Stadium.

The Marlins came into last night's opener having won three of their last four games and they seemed in good position to claim a second straight victory until closer Leo Nunez permitted a pinch-hit, two-run triple to Matt Treanor that gave the Rangers a 3-2 triumph.

Treanor, who played with the Marlins from 2004-08, plated Josh Hamilton and Julio Borbon with his drive to center that handed Nunez just his third blown save in 16 chances this year and first in his last 10 tries.

"I think Treanor was the better hitter," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "I was trying to get the best hitter in the box. For what I had left, he was the better hitter."

Hamilton drove in the other run. He is hitting .425 (17-for-40) over an 11- game hit streak with six homers and 18 RBI for the Rangers, who have won six of seven and are two games up on the Angels for first place in the American League West.

Making his major league debut, Alexi Ogando hurled a scoreless eighth inning to earn the win in relief, while Neftali Feliz followed in the ninth to record his 16th save of the season.

Texas' comeback spoiled another excellent outing from Florida starter Josh Johnson, who gave up just a run on four hits over seven innings. Hanley Ramirez accounted for the offense with a two-run homer in the sixth inning.

"It happens. Usually when you lose those in the ninth inning it's tough. We'll bounce back [Wednesday]," Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

The Marlins will look to do so tonight with Anibal Sanchez on the hill. He has won five of his last six starts, and after having a four-start win streak halted on June 4 by the Mets, he yielded four runs over seven innings in a 14-9 victory over the Rays on Friday.

Sanchez, 26, improved to 6-3 on the season with a 3.36 earned run average and is 3-1 with a 2.82 ERA in six starts at home.

The right-hander has never before faced the Rangers.

Texas' Tommy Hunter won for the second time in as many starts this year on Thursday versus Seattle and he will try to stay in the win column again tonight.

After beginning the season on the disabled list due to a strained left oblique and then in Triple-A Oklahoma City, the right-handed Hunter tossed a one-run complete game in his season debut on June 5 versus the Rays, then limited the Mariners to three runs -- two earned -- over six innings in his most recent start.

The 23-year-old, who is replacing Derek Holland in the rotation, has never before faced the Marlins.

The Marlins won two of three over the Rangers when the teams last met in Florida from June 10-12, 2005.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.