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Vizquel becomes Venezuelan hits king

Vizquel becomes Venezuelan hits king

PHOENIX -- Shortstop Omar Vizquel singled with one out in the first inning of the Rangers' 9-8 win over the D-backs on Thursday night to set a new record for most hits in a Major League career by a native of Venezuela.

Vizquel's single was the 2,678th of his career, which allowed him to surpass Hall of Fame shortstop Luis Aparicio. The single -- a soft line drive into right field -- came off D-backs pitcher Jon Garland and the baseball was immediately taken off the field.

"Finally. ... Wow. I feel 100 pounds lighter," Vizquel said. "I can go out and enjoy the game again and forget about everything else."

Vizquel has won 11 Gold Gloves at shortstop but wanted this record badly because to him it represents the offensive contributions he has made in his 21-year career.

"It was driving me crazy. It was driving me insane," Vizquel said. "I had a chance to do it at home, and I had a chance to do it in San Francisco. I knew it would come down to a place like this, where nobody really knows me. But it doesn't matter where I do it, I just wanted to get it done."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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