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06/20/10 2:06 PM ET

Texas native Ohlendorf opens series vs. Rangers

When the Pirates make the trek halfway across the country to start a nine-game road trip against the Rangers, pitcher Ross Ohlendorf will be heading home.

The Austin, Tex., native will make his 10th start of the season in front of friends and family when he faces the Rangers on Tuesday.

Ohlendorf hopes he can put together a solid start to record his first win of the season in Arlington.

The right-hander is 0-5 and has given up 29 earned runs on 56 hits. Ohlendorf is trying to get himself to where he was last season, when he finished 11-10 with an ERA of 3.92.

"I personally have been struggling," Ohlendorf said. "I know I can pitch a lot better than I have been. I'm working to try and get back to how I pitched last year. I know it's coming. I know I will get there soon."

Ohlendorf had success in the second half of last season because he was consistent in where he wanted to throw the ball, something he doesn't feel he has been doing well this year. However, he said he feels he is moving toward where he wants to be and it's only a matter of time before he gets his first win of 2010.

Manager John Russell agreed, saying Ohlendorf simply needs to attack the plate more to get the results he wants. If he does that, he has a good chance of recording his first win.

"The ball is not doing what he's wanting it to do right now," Russell said. "The slider is not breaking. He's kind of a power pitcher. He needs to attack the zone. When he does that, he's pretty special. When he stays with that mentality, everything seems to flow."

Pirates: Bucs turning things around
Saturday's 6-4 win over Cleveland snapped a 12-game losing streak for Pittsburgh. That win also helped the Pirates avoid their fourth straight series sweep as they hadn't split a series since winning one against San Francisco from June 4-6. Sunday's 5-3 win over Cleveland was their second in a row. The team hadn't won two consecutive games since May 31-June 1. The Pirates have won only four games in the month of June.

Texas: Hamilton on fire
After five hits on Sunday, Josh Hamilton is currently on a 16-game hitting streak. His single in the third inning on Sunday extended that streak. That is the longest active streak in the Majors and is the longest for the Rangers since Elvis Andrus went on a 16-game streak from Aug. 28-Sept. 14, 2009. Hamilton has also hit safely in a club-record 18 consecutive Interleague games dating back to June 27, 2008.

Worth noting
While Ohlendorf has yet to record his first win of the season, Tommy Hunter has a record of 2-0. Ohlendorf's struggles have come in part because batters are hitting .310 off him with runners in scoring position. He will try to lessen that when he makes his first start against his home state team. Hunter, on the other hand, has an 11-8 record over 25 Major League starts throughout the past three seasons. He, too, will be making his first start against the Pirates and is looking to improve upon his 2.08 ERA.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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