Beltre delivers in Rangers’ 10-inning win over Angels
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Adrian Beltre has more than 3,000 hits and is approaching 500 home runs in his career. Those are numbers that can get a player into the Hall of Fame.
But sometimes it is the little things that make a player great.
Beltre padded his resume with two more home runs in his first two at-bats Wednesday, but his ground ball in the 10th inning was just as instrumental in helping the Texas Rangers to a 7-5 victory over the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium.
Besides the two home runs, Beltre also had a sixth-inning single. Then in the 10th inning with the score tied at 4, Beltre stepped into the batter’s box against Angels reliever Eduardo Paredes with Elvis Andrus on second and no outs.
After falling behind in the count at 1-2, Beltre hit a ground ball to second base, moving Andrus to third with one out.
The Rangers’ other bats took it from there.
After walks to Nomar Mazara (intentional) and Mike Napoli loaded the bases, Rougned Odor broke the tie with a sacrifice fly. Robinson Chirinos and Drew Robinson followed with consecutive RBI singles to give Texas a 7-4 lead and ultimately its second win in the first three contests of the four-game series.
“Definitely,” Beltre said when asked if he took as much pride in his 10th-inning at-bat as his home runs. “Obviously home runs are great, but in that at-bat, I wasn’t thinking about a hit; I was trying to get the guy over. I knew with Mazara and Napoli behind me, two RBI guys, the situation we were in, I just needed to be sure that (Andrus) gets to third base.”
Rangers manager Jeff Banister agreed.
“To move Elvis over ... it’s huge to get a guy 90 feet away from scoring, big at-bat,” Banister said. “But look, you want to talk about this game, big players come through in big moments, and Beltre came through. There are no little moments in games like this.”
The Rangers (63-63) likely would have won the game in nine innings if it weren’t for Angels center fielder Mike Trout’s throw in the top of the ninth. Texas had two on and two outs when Shin-Soo Choo singled to center off Bud Norris.
Chirinos, who homered in the third inning, tried to score from second, but Trout fielded the ball cleanly and fired a perfect throw on the fly to catcher Martin Maldonado, who applied the tag. The Rangers challenged the call; but, after a video review, the play was upheld and the Angels were out of the inning.
“Mike put a throw right where it had to be,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “It’s not easy from center field. He charged the ball well, got rid of it and just threw a BB right on the money. That’s a huge play at the time.”
The win moved Texas within two games of the Minnesota Twins for the American League’s second wild card. The Angels (65-62) fell a half-game behind Minnesota.
Rangers left-hander Alex Claudio (3-1) retired all six batters he faced in the eighth and ninth innings to earn the win over Paredes (0-1).
The bottom of the 10th inning didn’t go quite as smoothly for the Rangers. Jose Leclerc walked Cameron Maybin and Trout to start the ending, getting the hook from Banister.
Tony Barnette replaced Leclerc and got Albert Pujols to hit into a double play. Kole Calhoun followed with an RBI single, but Barnette retired Andrelton Simmons on a fly ball for his first save of the season.
Angels starter Andrew Heaney, making his second start since returning from Tommy John surgery, gave up four runs on eight hits, three of the runs coming in on solo homers.
“The ball was coming out of his hand really well tonight,” Scioscia said. “As the game went on, he missed some balls over the heart of the plate, and those guys didn’t miss them. It’s definitely a step forward from where he was in Baltimore (in his last start).”
Rangers starter Andrew Cashner entered the game pitching well. He had not allowed more than three runs in any of his previous seven starts, going back to June 29.
However, he allowed a three-run homer by Luis Valbuena in the fourth inning and then Valbuena’s RBI single in the sixth. In all, Cashner gave up four runs on seven hits and one walk in six innings.
NOTES: Angels RHP Troy Scribner will be called up from Triple-A Salt Lake on Thursday and make the start against the Rangers, replacing RHP JC Ramirez (elbow). ... LHP Martin Perez will start Thursday for Texas. ... Angels 3B Yunel Escobar, out since Aug. 6 with a strained oblique muscle, took part in baseball activities and did agility drills before the game. Barring any setbacks, Escobar could begin a rehab assignment in a few days and return to the big league roster around Sept. 1. ... Rangers 3B Joey Gallo, placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list Tuesday, joined the Rangers in Anaheim and took part in a light workout. Gallo, who leads the club with 35 home runs, also sustained a non-displaced nasal fracture Sunday in a collision with RHP Matt Bush as the two chased a pop fly. Gallo, though, said he hopes to rejoin the active roster when he is eligible Tuesday.