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Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Vizquel matches Aparicio

Associated Press

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers shortstop Omar Vizquel matched Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio for the most hits by a player from Venezuela on Wednesday night.

Vizquel got his 2,677th career hit with a single in the fifth inning of Texas' 5-4 victory against the Houston Astros. It was the 2,706th career game for the 41-year-old Vizquel, who is in his 21st major league season.

"I never thought I'd be involved in a situation like that," Vizquel said. "So many good players have come from our country."

Aparicio played in 2,601 games from 1956-73 for the Chicago White Sox, Baltimore and Boston.

Vizquel is an 11-time Gold Glove winner whose 2,668 games at shortstop are a major league record. Now a utility player and mentor to 20-year-old rookie Elvis Andrus, who is also from Venezuela, Vizquel made only his 12th start at shortstop.

Vizquel went 1 for 3 Wednesday before he was pulled for pinch-hitter Andruw Jones in the ninth.

"I couldn't believe a guy who started to switch hit at the age of 20 could accomplish something like this," Vizquel said.