MIAMI -- Rangers outfielder Julio Borbon hit his first home run of the season on Wednesday night in a 6-3 win over the Marlins, ending a drought of 269 at-bats dating back to Sept. 8 of last season. The home run was no accident.Both Borbon and Rangers manager Ron Washington said his surge at the plate began when he started swinging the bat with authority rather than trying to finesse his way all the time as a "punch-and-judy," contact-and-speed guy. "Before, I wasn't being aggressive," Borbon said. "Even when I had a count of 2-0 or 3-1, I was taking bad swings and not being aggressive. I need to be more aggressive when I get my pitch and the ball is in my zone. I know I can drive the ball to all fields and get the extra base." Borbon entered Thursday with a .609 slugging percentage for the month of June. He had .250 slugging percentage in April and a .292 slugging percentage in May
Texas' Young focused on the postseason
MIAMI -- Third baseman Michael Young now owns the Rangers' record for most hits in a career. He is clear about what's next on his list of personal achievements."I'm just thinking about winning," Young said. "That's what's good about this team. We all have one goal and we share that same goal. This is my 10th year, and all I'm thinking about is winning." Young, who had a double and a single in the Rangers' 6-3 win over the Marlins on Wednesday to pass Ivan Rodriguez with 1,748 hits, cracked the Texas lineup permanently in 2001, but the team hasn't been in the playoffs since 1999. The Rangers did enter Thursday's game with the Marlins holding a two-game lead over the Angels in the American League West. "This team is doing what it set out to do, and that's keep getting better," Young said. "We're better now than we were in May and we were better in May than we were in April. I like the direction we're headed. "The offense has become more consistent, our starting pitchers are battling, the bullpen has been doing a great job and I think we've tightened up our defense. We just need to make sure we get consistent effort from everybody, 1-25 [on the roster]." The Rangers still have areas they would like to address before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. At one point, catching was a concern. That has faded into the background as the Rangers have been satisfied with the work of Matt Treanor and Max Ramirez. Starting pitching appears to be Texas' biggest concern right now, but the Rangers are also looking for a right-handed hitter off the bench who can play first and third. "I'm sure the front office has some ideas," Young said. "That's their job, to figure things out. My job is to do what I can to help my teammates win. I like our team and I'm open to improvements. Our team made the goal to keep getting better and not let anybody out-work us or out-hustle us. In that sense, I like the direction we're headed."
Washington plans on keeping lineup intact
MIAMI -- Rangers manager Ron Washington made it clear Thursday that he has no plans to change his lineup and reverse a couple of moves he made earlier in the season.Washington is keeping Elvis Andrus in the leadoff spot and Julio Borbon in the No. 9 spot. He also wants to keep Ian Kinsler in the third spot and Josh Hamilton hitting fifth. Andrus went into Thursday's game with just four hits in his past 31 at-bats and was hitting .234 in his previous 25 games to drop his average from .331 to .288. Borbon, on the other hand, was hitting .435 for the month of June, raising his average to .285. "Nothing is happening unless Elvis falls on his face," Washington said. "I have no interest in moving Elvis, and Borbon is good where he is. Once we get through the lineup once, it's Borbon and Elvis back-to-back anyway. Elvis may be struggling right now, but he'll pick it up." Hamilton, after getting four hits on Wednesday, took a 12-game hitting streak into Thursday's game. He was 21-for-45 (.467) during the hitting streak, with five home runs in his past seven games. He leads the Majors with 21 RBIs and an .898 slugging percentage for the month of June. But Kinsler is also starting to come around as well. He was hitting .348 (8-for-23) in his past six games entering Thursday and had scored 10 runs. He still had just one RBI in his past 13 games and he's hitting .220 in his past 21 games.
Vladimir Guerrero was in right field for the Rangers on Thursday. He'll be in right field on Friday. Washington and Guerrero agreed on that. He'll have Saturday off in Houston and start on Sunday. ... The Rangers have won three consecutive road series -- vs. the Marlins, Brewers and White Sox -- for the first time since July-August 2006. ... Texas had held opponents to four hits or less in three consecutive games entering Thursday. That's the longest such streak in the Major Leagues. It's happened eight times in Rangers history but just twice since 1988. ... Michael Young is one of four active players who holds the all-time hit record for his club. The others are Derek Jeter of the Yankees, Todd Helton of the Rockies and Carl Crawford of the Rays.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.