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Hamilton HR, Young record hits lift Rangers

MIAMI -- Now that he has the Texas Rangers' all-time hit record, Michael Young says he'd like to put it "out of reach."

That task might not be too difficult for the perennial All-Star.

Young hit a two-run single in the eighth inning to break Ivan Rodriguez's club record, Josh Hamilton capped a four-hit night with a towering home run in the ninth, and the Rangers overcame an early injury to starter Tommy Hunter to beat the Florida Marlins 6-3 on Wednesday night.

"I've played my whole career in one uniform. Hopefully I can finish it in this uniform," Young said. "I think most importantly, we got it in a win."

Young has 1,748 hits, setting the mark in 91 fewer games than Rodriguez spent with the club. The record-breaker was clutch, with Young connecting on a 2-2 pitch from Jay Buente and giving the Rangers a 5-2 lead.

"You guys saw Michael Young a lot longer than I have," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "You all know the consistency he's all about."

Nolan Ryan, the Rangers' president, called after the game, telling Young, "I just wanted to congratulate you and wish you the best for the rest of the year."

Said Young: "I knew it'd mean a lot, but now that it's finished, I kind of look back on the career I've had in Texas and the players I've passed, it means a lot."

The ball that became Young's recordbreaking hit was tossed softly into the Rangers' dugout for safekeeping.

The ball that became Hamilton's 16th home run an inning later was tossed back onto the playing surface by a fan, who retrieved it off the blue tarp in straightaway center, a few rows above the 404-foot sign. Hamilton hit it off Renyel Pinto, whom Florida designated for assignment after the game.

Ian Kinsler scored two unearned runs for the AL West-leading Rangers, now 11-4 in June. Young finished with two hits, as did Julio Borbon, including his first homer in 263 at-bats.

Chris Coghlan had an RBI double and Hanley Ramirez drove in his seventh run in the past seven games for the Marlins, who have dropped seven of their past 10. Highly touted rookie right fielder Mike Stanton went 0 for 4, and is hitless in eight at-bats during his first Florida homestand.

"We need to get a streak and win like 10," Ramirez said. "It hasn't happened yet."

Darren O'Day (3-2) threw two perfect innings of relief to be credited with the win. Neftali Feliz pitched the ninth for his 17th save in 19 chances, striking out the side.

Hunter was bidding for his third win in as many starts after beginning the year on the DL with a strained left oblique. He was strong in the early going, not allowing a hit in 2 1/3 innings, but then walked Marlins right-hander Anibal Sanchez and fell behind Coghlan 3-0.

That was all for Hunter, who left with discomfort in his right hip flexor after catching his spike on the mound on a pickoff move.

"It's not too bad," said Hunter, whom the Rangers are listing day to day.

A pair of infield singles by Hamilton and David Murphy in the first, following a throwing error by Sanchez on a pickoff attempt, allowed Kinsler to score the game's first run. Borbon homered in the second, and Kinsler made it 3-0 after another error in the third.

Sanchez (6-4) allowed eight hits and one earned run in six innings.

"I threw six strong innings," Sanchez said. "That's what I know."

Game notes
Tim Wood will be called up to replace Pinto. ... It was the eighth time Hamilton had at least four hits in a game. He extended his hitting streak to 12 games, and he's hit safely in 14 straight interleague contests. ... Neither starting pitcher had ever faced a batter from the opposing dugout before Wednesday. ... The Marlins fell to 5-8 when committing at least two errors.