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TEXAS' HUNT FOR CATCHER NETS GIANTS' MOLINA

Times wires

ANAHEIM, Calif. - The Rangers have acquired C Bengie Molina from the Giants, USA Today and mlb.com reported.

Texas reportedly sent LH reliever Chris Ray and a player to be named to be San Francisco for Molina. Neither team would confirm the trade.

The Rangers lead the AL West despite subpar production at catcher. Current starter Matt Treanor is batting .237 with a .315 on-base percentage and a .378 slugging percentage in 54 games.

Molina, 35, a two-time Gold Glove Award winner, is hitting .257 with a .312 on-base percentage and a .332 slugging percentage in 61 games, a down year after he slugged over .400 for seven straight seasons.

The deal opens up San Francisco's starting catching spot for rookie Buster Posey, the fifth overall pick in the 2008 draft out of Florida State.

Ray, 28, has a 3.41 ERA in 35 games for Texas this year.

In other Rangers news, owner Tom Hicks was paid a $183,594 salary from the team over a nearly yearlong span that began about the same time some front-office personnel were laid off, according to filings in the team's bankruptcy case. The court papers filed this week show that Hicks received that salary, plus $14,452 in expenses, from the Rangers from June 15, 2009, through May 24 this year.

LA RUSSA BACKS ARIZONA LAW: Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said he supports Arizona legislation calling for tougher enforcement against illegal immigrants.

Opponents of the law have called for Major League Baseball to move the 2011 All-Star Game out of the state. La Russa, a Tampa native who lives in northern California, said Arizona has a problem that the national government has failed to remedy.

Gov. Jan Brewer signed a state law in April requiring police officers to question a person's immigration status if there's reasonable doubt they might be in the country illegally.

CLEMENS VS. CLEMENS: Seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens still has shutout stuff. Only this time, he was trying to let the guys take him deep - especially his son, Koby, who was among six batters who took 0-fers against the Rocket, 47, in the Texas League Home Run Derby.

CIVIL RIGHTS GAME: The Braves will host the game in 2011-12, team president John Schuerholz announced. No dates or opponents are set for the games, to be played during the next two regular seasons.

ALL-STAR UMPS:Mike Reilly, in his 34th season as a major-league umpire, will serve as the crew chief for the All-Star Game July 13 in Anaheim, Calif.

CARDINALS: RHP Chris Carpenter, who took a line drive off his pitching arm Monday, threw a normal bullpen session and said he expects to make his next scheduled start Saturday.

D'BACKS: LHP Dontrelle Willis is headed to the bullpen after walking 13 batters over his past two starts. RHP Barry Enright is expected to replace him in the rotation.

DODGERS: LF Manny Ramirez is scheduled for an MRI exam on his injured right hamstring during today's day off. He strained his hamstring in Tuesday's game.

MARINERS: CF Franklin Gutierrez left the game against the Yankees after the first inning because of an upset stomach.

METS: SS Jose Reyes left the field during batting practice and was scratched with what a team spokesman described as lower back stiffness.

ORIOLES: OF Luke Scott injured his left hamstring and may need to go on the disabled list.

RED SOX: 2B Dustin Pedroia, out six weeks with a broken left foot, took grounders while on both knees to try to keep his arm in shape.

TIGERS: LH reliever Fu-Te Ni, who had a 6.65 ERA in 22 games, was sent to Triple-A Toledo.

WHITE SOX: Closer Bobby Jenks will come off the bereavement list on Friday to join the club in Texas.

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