Bel­tre cheered in pos­si­ble last game in Texas

Astros pitcher Mor­ton ex­its Sun­day’s start with right shoul­der dis­com­fort.

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS -

AR­LING­TON — Adrian Bel­tre was given a stand­ing ova­tion when he was re­moved from what could be his last home game for Texas, just be­fore the Rangers ral­lied for four runs in the sixth in­ning to beat the Seat­tle Mariners 6-1 on Sun­day.

The 39-year-old, play­ing his 21st ma­jor league sea­son, struck out twice and is hit­ting .275 with 14 homers and 61 RBIs. The four­time All-Star, the ac­tive hits leader with 3,162, went to third base just af­ter the game be­came of­fi­cial — his 2,758 ap­pear­ances at third are sec­ond only to Brooks Robin­son’s 2,870. Rougned Odor ran out of the dugout and hugged Bel­tre, en­ter­ing the game as Jurick­son Pro­far moved from sec­ond base to third.

Team­mates hugged Bel­tre as the crowd of 31,269

rose to its feet. He ac­knowl­edged the cheers with a tip and wave of his cap, then de­scended into the dugout to more hugs.

Bel­tre is in his eighth sea­son in Texas af­ter time with Seat­tle, the Los An­ge­les Dodgers and Bos­ton, and he has not said whether he wants to re­turn for next sea­son. The Rangers fin­ish their sea­son on the road af­ter go­ing 34-47 at home, the sec­ond-most home losses since the team moved to Texas, be­hind 33-48 in 2014.

While Bel­tre was sign­ing au­to­graphs be­fore the game, some fans held up signs plead­ing with him to stay with the Rangers.

Seat­tle lost a day af­ter it was elim­i­nated from the post­sea­son con­tention, ex­tend­ing the long­est play­off drought among the four ma­jor U.S. pro sports to 17 years.

Guillermo Here­dia’s dou­ble in the sec­ond put the Marinerse ahead, but the Rangers took a 4-1 lead in the sixth when No­mar Mazara chased starter Wade LeBlanc (8-5) with a two-run dou­ble, Robin­son Chiri­nos hit an RBI sin­gle off Nick Vin­cent and Car­los Tocci had a sac­ri­fice fly against James Pa­zos. Joey Gallo added his 39th homer, a two-run drive in the eighth against Ryan Cook.

Jef­frey Springs (1-1), the sec­ond of five Texas pitch­ers, al­lowed two hits in two score­less in­nings.

Seat­tle fin­ished its road sched­ule 44-37, its sec­ond-most wins away from home since 2002, be­hind only 46-35 four years ago.

Astros 6, An­gels 2: Char­lie Mor­ton left Hous­ton’s win over the Los An­ge­les An­gels on Sun­day af­ter one in­ning be­cause of dis­com­fort in his pitch­ing shoul­der, a po­ten­tial prob­lem for the World Se­ries cham­pi­ons as they close in con­sec­u­tive AL West ti­tles.

The 34-year-old righthander did not pitch from Aug. 28 un­til Sept. 8 be­cause of right shoul­der dis­com­fort. He won his first two starts fol­low­ing his stint on the dis­abled list, al­low­ing four runs in 11 in­nings.

Mor­ton threw 24 pitches in the first. He gave up a dou­ble to Justin Up­ton, who scored from sec­ond on a wild pitch in the dirt that bounced off the glove of catcher Martin Mal­don­ado, who ini­tially had trou­ble find­ing the ball.

AL West-lead­ing Hous­ton started the day 3½ games ahead of sec­ond-place Oak­land.

Yuli Gur­riel hit a two-run homer, giv­ing him three homers and 10 RBIs in the three­game se­ries, and Evan Gat­tis had three hits and two RBIs.

Fram­ber Valdez (4-1) fol­lowed Mor­ton and struck out a ca­reer-high nine in six in­nings, al­low­ing one run and three hits. He had been sched­uled to start Wed­nes­day at Toronto.

Tyler Sk­aggs (8-9) gave up four runs and five hits in 2⅓ in­nings, the fourth straight start he failed to last four in­nings. Sk­aggs has given up 22 runs in that span.

Gur­riel hit a two-run homer in the first, ex­tend­ing his hit­ting streak to nine games, and Gat­tis added an RBI sin­gle for a 3-1 lead.

Gat­tis added an RBI sin­gle in the fifth off Jim John­son, and An­gels rookie Jose Bri­ceno home­red in the sixth. Josh Red­dick drew a bases-loaded, four-pitch walk from Wil­liams Jerez in the sev­enth.

RICHARD RO­DRIGUEZ/GETTY IM­AGES

Texas third base­man Adrian Bel­tre tips his cap to the home crowd as he ex­its the game Sun­day.

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