ARLINGTON, Texas – The Rangers call it "taking a half day off" when a position player spends a game as the designated. However, Adrian Beltre put in a full day’s work in his turn as the DH on Wednesday.
Beltre swatted two homers to drive in five runs while temporarily ceding his third base duties. It still wasn’t enough to keep Baltimore from claiming a 6-5 win, but at least the Rangers know their most feared hitter is in a groove.
"Tonight he was the guy, he put us on his back," manager Ron Washington said. "We just couldn’t put enough runs across the board to help."
Beltre also homered Tuesday when he collected three hits. Over his last 16 games, he’s hitting .410 with five homers and 13 RBI.
The hot streak is a sure sign that Beltre is full recovered from the strained left quad that caused him to miss most of April.
"Got lucky, I guess," Beltre said. "You obviously feel good when you’re hitting the ball good and you contribute to the team, but nothing’s different."
Beltre’s first homer Wednesday came in the first inning right after a Mich Moreland walk and gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead.
His second homer, in the fifth, was a three-run shot that tied the game at 5-5.
It marked his 26th career multi-homer game in the regular season, and the first multi-homer game for any Ranger since he hit two at Baltimore last July 9.
"When Beltre goes to punching the ball out of the ballpark, he does it in bunches," Washington said. "He’s been grinding and you see his average is now above .300 [.306]. He’s starting to pick up the RBIs out there, that’s what he does."
The question is whether Beltre, who leads the team with 8 homers and 26 RBI, can pick up the rest of the offense. The Rangers have lost two straight games and four of their last five while struggling with injuries and inexperience.
"The last road trip we were hitting the ball well as a team, so it was just two games in which we faced some pretty good pitchers," Beltre said. "But we’re going to be OK. We’ll come back tomorrow and start anew and put some runs on the board for our starting pitcher."