Rangers Rally for 9th Straight Win

By STEPHEN HAWKINS
|  Wednesday, Jun 23, 2010  |  Updated 8:45 AM CDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Who Are This Year's Texas Rangers?

Getty Images

Julio Borbon.

advertisement
Photos and Videos
More Photos and Videos

As well as Julio Borbon has been playing for the Texas Rangers, he is still in awe of slugging teammate Josh Hamilton.

Together, the outfielders kept the Rangers' winning streak going at home.

Hamilton extended his hitting streak to 17 games with a home run and a double, Borbon hit a go-ahead three-run homer and the AL West-leading Rangers stretched the majors' longest winning streak to nine with a 6-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates in a homestand opener Tuesday night.

"It's amazing the stretch he's going through," Borbon said of Hamilton. "Looking at him and the way he goes about it, he's out there enjoying and having fun. ... It's something for him to remember, and he's definitely helping us out as a ballclub to get some wins."

Borbon, the leadoff hitter to start the season before early struggles sent him to the bottom of the order, is hitting .429 (27 for 63) over his past 18 games. That raised his average from .233 to a season-high .294.

And that still isn't as good as Hamilton, who has hit .485 (33 for 68) in his career-best hitting streak that is also the longest active in the majors. He is up to .339 for the season.

"I feel like everything I'm doing in practice and my routine is helping me prepare for the game," Hamilton said. "I don't have to think about it, I just react."

Michael Young also homered in his first home game since becoming the franchise's career hits leader last week at Florida during the Rangers' eight consecutive victories on the road.

"We're a team right now," Hamilton said. "That's a good place to be."

Borbon's second homer of the season, after Hamilton doubled, put the Rangers up 4-2 in the fifth.

"You have to give Julio credit for the way he's battled, the way he's hung in there, and the way he's put it together," manager Ron Washington said. "He has got a lot of confidence right now. ... That was a big three-run homer, it really was."

An inning later, Hamilton homered onto the grassy hill in center for his 17th of the season and majors-best eighth in June.

Hamilton, an All-Star starter the past two seasons, moved up to third this week in the AL All-Star fan voting. He moved ahead of teammate Nelson Cruz, who slipped to fourth.

Tommy Hunter (3-0) struck out six without a walk in six innings. He threw 68 of his 88 pitches for strikes while allowing three runs (two earned) and nine hits.

Rookie Neftali Feliz worked the ninth for his AL-best 20th save in 22 chances after Darren Oliver worked two perfect innings.

Ross Ohlendorf (0-6) is winless his past 15 starts, 10 this season, since a victory on Aug. 18 against Milwaukee.

Ohlendorf retired the first 10 Rangers batters before Young's one-out homer in the fourth. The last 10 hitters the Pirates' right-hander faced, including Young and Borbon, went 5-for-8 with two walks for four runs.

"It's been frustrating," Ohlendorf said.

"He looked like he was throwing well," manager John Russell said. "And then he fell through the trap and made some mistakes."

The Pirates, who had won two in a row since a 12-game losing streak, led 2-0. Pittsburgh has now lost 12 straight road games.

Neil Walker had a one-out double in the first and scored on a single by Garrett Jones, who has an NL-best 12-game hitting streak. Pedro Alvarez had a leadoff single in the fourth and scored on a throwing error.

Pittsburgh got within 4-3 in the sixth after consecutive doubles by Lastings Milledge and Bobby Crosby, the bottom two hitters in the lineup, after having a runner thrown out at the plate.

Pirates catcher Ryan Doumit tried to score on Milledge's double, which Hamilton fielded in the left-field corner. Shortstop Elvis Andrus' relay throw was a strike to Matt Treanor, who put his head down and absorbed the collision at the plate for the out.

"We're trying to push to score more runs," Russell said.

NOTES: Texas has won more than nine games in a row only once, a 14-game streak in 1991. ... Cruz was 0-for-3 with a sacrifice fly after being activated from the disabled list. He has 35 RBIs in 35 games. Both DL stints are for hamstrings, one for the left, the other for the right. ... The Rangers unfurled a huge banner congratulating Young as the team's career hits leader. He now has 1,752. ... Pittsburgh is 0-4 at Rangers Ballpark. The Pirates were swept in a rain-plagued three-game series in 2004. ... Ohlendorf has limited opposing hitters to a .202 average the first time through the lineup. That goes up to .343 after that.

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
What's New
Get NBCDFW on Mobile!
Get NBCDFW's free news and weather... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out