Beltre at 2,999 hits after Rangers' 4-0 loss to Orioles
By STEPHEN HAWKINS
Jul. 30, 2017
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Adrian Beltre knows he will make history with his next hit. So do all the Texas Rangers fans.
Beltre went 1 for 4 to get within one hit of 3,000 for his career in a 4-0 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday night, with two groundouts after his single in the fourth . He was retired in the ninth when third baseman Manny Machado made a slick snag on his short-hopper before a sidearm sling to second base to start a double play.
"I was just trying to get a pitch to hit. It felt really cool the way the fans were getting into it," Beltre said. "Trying to get it over with? Yes. But I wasn't anxious at all Or maybe I was. I don't know."
Beltre got loud cheers all night from the crowd of 44,658, including about 8,000 who bought tickets after he got two hits in Friday night's series opener.
Another big crowd is expected for a hot Sunday afternoon when the Rangers' 38-year-old third baseman gets his next chance to become the 31st major leaguer in the 3,000-hit club — and the first Dominican Republic native.
The only other active player in the 3,000-hit club is Miami Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, who is tied for 22nd all-time with Hall of Fame player Craig Biggio at 3,060.
All four of Beltre's at-bats came against Kevin Gausman (8-7), who went 8 2/3 innings to win his fifth consecutive decision over seven starts. The right-hander has allowed only one run over 33-plus innings in those wins. He struck out eight and threw 118 pitches.
"I've been part of some real cool things in baseball," Gausman said. "From the first, I could tell this was going to be a special night."
Zach Britton converted his AL-record 56th straight save chance, and seventh this season. He relieved with two on and got Carlos Gomez to ground out, ending the Orioles' sixth shutout this season.
The Rangers, who had scored 28 runs the previous three games, were held scoreless for the fourth time.
The closest Texas came to scoring was when young slugger Joey Gallo led off the third with a towering shot to straightway center field. Adam Jones got back to the 8-foot wall, leaped and extended his glove to catch the ball that looked like it would be Gallo's 26th homer.
After Orioles shortstop Ruben Tejada made an impressive backhanded stab deep in the hole and then threw him out to end the first, Beltre hit another grounder to the left side to start the fourth. That one got beyond the reach of Tejada and into the outfield, then Beltre grounded out to short again in the sixth.
"I don't think that he was necessarily over-anxious or anything like that," Banister said. "He's typically an aggressive hitter, and I thought he had some good swings tonight."
Beltre, a five-time Gold Glove winner, had his career-best and franchise-record errorless streak of 62 games at third base end with a throwing error in the seventh.
The error came when Beltre fielded a grounder by Machado and short-hopped the throw to first base. When Machado came back up in the ninth, he hit a foul pop on which Beltre ran a long way to make a highlight catch with his glove extended over his head."
"A tough play ... very close to being a terrific play. But he comes back with a good solid defense, that's who he is," Banister said. "He has a way of just moving on, a professional player, big-league player, future Hall of Famer."
IN HIS PLACE
Bibens-Dirkx, the 32-year-old rookie right-hander, started in place of righty Tyson Ross, who went on the 10-day disabled list with a blister on the index finger of his pitching hand after his start last Saturday. Bibens-Dirkx allowed four runs and six hits in five innings.
TOUCHED BUT NOT TAGGED
Tejada hit a dribbler down the first-base line in the second that somehow stayed in fair territory. After bobbling the ball with his mitt, Mike Napoli grabbed the ball with his right hand and reached back to try to tag the runner. Napoli's forearm appeared to hit Tejada in the rear but the ball was away from the body. The out stood on replay review after Banister's challenge.
Orioles: RHP Jeremy Hellickson's vehicle got rear-ended when he was on the way to the airport to join the Orioles after being traded from Philadelphia late Friday night. Manager Buck Showalter said the pitcher was OK, but his girlfriend had to go to the emergency room. Hellickson will now go to Baltimore, instead of joining the team in Texas.
Orioles: LHP Wade Miley (4-9) starts as Baltimore tries to close the season series 6-1 against Texas.
Rangers: Lefty Martin Perez is scheduled to make his 20th start of the season. The Rangers have scored one run total for Perez (5-8, 4.67) in his last two starts.
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