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Josh Hamilton has set Texas Rangers records for hits and RBIs in June. Now the All-Star slugger will try to help his team close out the month with a victory against its main AL West rival.

Hamilton and the Rangers look to add to their division lead when they face the Los Angeles Angels in the middle game of this series Wednesday night.

Hamilton's 48 hits and 31 RBIs are franchise marks for June, while his nine homers are two shy of the mark held by Jose Canseco (1994) and Juan Gonzalez (1992, '96).

The left fielder has gone hitless once this month and is on a career-high 22-game hitting streak, batting .462 during that span. His month-long surge has him in the top five of each of the league's triple crown categories, as he is hitting .343 with 18 homers and 58 RBIs.

"I'm not trying to hit homers on every pitch anymore," Hamilton told the team's website. "I'm trying to hit line drives and try to barrel it up and try to have a solid batting practice. It's helped tremendously."

Hamilton kept his run going Tuesday with a third-inning single in a 6-5 defeat at Los Angeles. That ended the Rangers' eight-game road winning streak, one shy of the team record.

Texas (46-30) has ridden Hamilton's hot bat to a 20-6 mark this month as the club posted the best record in team history through 75 games. The Rangers have a 3 1/2-game lead over the second-place Angels (44-35) in the West.

Texas is planning to recall Omar Beltre and give him the start Wednesday in his long-delayed major league debut.

The 29-year-old right-hander was considered one of the club's top prospects, but was unable to enter the United States from the Dominican Republic for five years because of visa problems.

Beltre was 0-2 with a 1.25 ERA in five starts this season for Triple-A Oklahoma City. He was 0-5 with two saves and a 2.39 ERA in 15 appearances overall, and will take the ball in place of Colby Lewis, who was pushed back to Friday.

"Beltre has been throwing well for Oklahoma City, and we wanted to give him an opportunity when he's going good," manager Ron Washington said. "Colby has been big for us and we want to keep him strong the whole year. Giving him a little extra rest now should pay off down the road."

While the Rangers have enjoyed a superb month, they have been unable to build a big lead because the Angels have been almost as hot, winning 18 of 26 in June.

Scott Kazmir (7-6, 5.42) takes the mound looking to end his struggles at home. The left-hander has lost three straight starts at Angel Stadium, posting an 8.36 ERA in those games, and is 2-3 with a 6.84 at home this season.

Kazmir's problems in Anaheim continued Thursday, as he gave up five runs with three walks and hit a batter in a 10-6 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He won his previous four June outings with a 2.35 ERA - all of them coming on the road.

"My fastball had good life, but it started to run away on me, and I had trouble keeping it in the strike zone," Kazmir told the team's official website.

He is 6-2 with a 2.37 ERA in 11 starts versus the Rangers but lost in his most recent outing against them, allowing four runs in seven innings of a 4-3 road defeat May 17.

Kazmir has had success against Hamilton, holding him to 3 for 12.

Tagged: Angels, Rangers, Scott Kazmir, Josh Hamilton

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