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Texas Tries To Make It Ten In A Row

(Sports Network) - Josh Hamilton and the Texas Rangers both try to extend their impressive streaks when the American League West leaders continue their three-game interleague affair with the Pittsburgh Pirates tonight at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Hamilton has hit safely in 17 straight games, while the Rangers have won nine straight to help them take a 3 1/2-game lead in the AL West.

On Tuesday. Julio Borbon's three-run homer complemented six solid innings by Texas starting pitcher Tommy Hunter and helped the Rangers to a 6-3 win. Hunter (3-0) allowed three runs -- two earned -- on nine hits with six strikeouts for Texas, which is a remarkable 16-4 in the month of June.

A win tonight would give the Rangers their longest streak since ripping off a team-record 14-game run from May 12-27, 1991.

Hamilton, meanwhile, homered and finished 2-for-4 in the win. He is hitting .485 with eight homers and 24 RBI during his streak.

"Everything I do in practice and going forward with my routine has helped me prepare for each game," said Hamilton. "I don't need to think (at the plate), I just react."

Bobby Crosby notched three hits with an RBI for the Pirates, who saw their brief two-game win streak halted and lost for the 13th time in their last 15 contests overall. Garrett Jones added two hits and a run batted in for Pittsburgh.

Ross Ohlendorf (0-6) allowed four runs on five hits over 4 2/3 innings and absorbed the loss.

Getting the call for the Rangers tonight will be righty Dustin Nippert, who is 2-3 with a 5.01 ERA. Filling in for the injured Rich Harden, Nippert made his first start of the year Thursday in Florida and did not get a decision, as he allowed three runs and seven hits in three innings of his team's 6-4 win.

Nippert has not received a decision in three games (one start) against the Pirates, but has pitched to a 3.86 ERA in those outings.

Pittsburgh will counter with lefty Paul Maholm, who has just one win in his last six starts. Maholm was charged with the loss Friday against Cleveland, which managed four runs and seven hits off him in 6 2/3 innings.

Maholm, who has never faced the Rangers, also struck out five and is 4-5 with a 3.77 ERA on the season.

Pittsburgh took two of three from the Rangers the last time these teams met back in 2007, but was swept in 2004 in its only other visit to Arlington.

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