ARLINGTON, Texas — One of the major components of the Rangers’ stretch run to the playoffs finally broke down Sunday: Third baseman Adrian Beltre was removed from a game.
But knowing Beltre’s ability to ignore injuries, don’t expect him to spend much time in the shop.
Beltre came out of Sunday’s second game against the Angels during the top of the seventh. He re-aggravated a left shoulder strain suffered when he dove for a ground ball in the ninth of inning of Sunday’s first game.
“Hopefully it’s nothing serious and I’ll be back out there tomorrow,” Beltre said. “I knew it was pretty sore, but I couldn’t afford to sit. I didn’t say anything to anybody. I tried to get through it but Wash (Rangers manager Ron Washington) didn’t let me finish.”
The Rangers open their final series of the regular season Monday in Oakland after clinching a playoff spot with an 8-7 win in Sunday’s second game. One more win and the Rangers clinch the AL West title.
Beltre went 2-for-3 with an RBI double in Sunday’s first game, giving him three consecutive multi-hit games and extended a hitting streak to six games.
However, he was 0-for-3 in the second game after injuring his shoulder, in addition to being hit by a pitch in the first inning.
The Rangers are accustomed to seeing Beltre limp around when he doesn’t have to run or make plays, but when he jumped to deflect a Mark Trumbo liner with one out in the seventh, they could tell this was more than the usual soreness Beltre deals with.
“He jumped up for that ball and it didn’t look good,” Washington said. “I certainly didn’t want it to be any more than what it was … Knowing Beltre, he’ll be ready to go tomorrow.”
Another sign of the severity of the injury: Washington didn’t have to put Beltre in a headlock and drag him off the field. Rookie Mike Olt relieved Beltre at third.
Still, in typical Beltre fashion, he resisted being taken out.
“Yes, he did,” Washington said. “He did, but it was the one time I didn’t have to fight with him.”
Washington also removed another veteran in mid-game. Michael Young, who started at second base, was replaced by Jurickson Profar to start the seventh inning.
Young has been bothered by a sore left Achilles tendon. He said he expects to play Monday in Oakland. Young said he could have stayed in the game if he were not playing second.
“No. No, no,” Washington said when asked if the Young injury were serious. “I just wanted to make sure I had some fresh legs out there moving around.”
Beltre said he suffered a similar shoulder injury earlier in the season and was able to play the next day.
“It’s exactly what happened (earlier),” Beltre said. “I’m hoping it’s the same case.”