Adrian Bel­tre dou­bles for 3,000th hit

West Hawaii Today - - Front Page - BY STEPHEN HAWKINS

ARLINGTON, Texas — Adrian Bel­tre had a feel­ing like none other he has ex­pe­ri­enced on a base­ball field when he saw his three chil­dren com­ing to­ward him. Then they kept run­ning to the wall in right-cen­ter field.

Only af­ter help­ing un­veil a logo com­mem­o­rat­ing Bel­tre’s 3,000th ca­reer hit did the kids re­turn to hug their father , the 38-year-old Texas Rangers third base­man who had just be­come the first player from the Do­mini­can Repub­lic, and 31st over­all, in the ma­jor leagues to do that.

“What hap­pened to­day af­ter the hit, it was the best mo­ment in my life,” Bel­tre said. “When I saw that, I felt like I was in the cloud, be­cause I re­ally saw the joy in their faces. It was a nice mo­ment to en­joy with them, my fam­ily, my wife.”

Bel­tre reached the mile­stone in the fourth in­ning of a 10-6 loss Sun­day to Bal­ti­more Ori­oles, who got homers from Jonathan Schoop and Wel­ing­ton Castillo in a five-run fifth.

“It’s an honor to be here for it. Es­pe­cially, we couldn’t have drawn it up bet­ter where we win and we get a chance to see that,” Ori­oles man­ager Buck Showal­ter said. “Ev­ery­body in the game has a lot of re­spect for him, not only sta­tis­ti­cally but the way he’s han­dled suc­cess over the years.”

The Rangers were al­ready down 4-0 when Bel­tre, who fin­ished his 2,771st ca­reer game 1 for 5, had a hard hit down the line — fit­tingly past third base — for a dou­ble.

A ban­ner was un­furled high above straight­away cen­ter field con­grat­u­lat­ing him. His team­mates, who had crowded on the rail of the first-base dugout to be as close as pos­si­ble to the his­toric mo­ment, flooded onto

the field to cel­e­brate with him.

Bel­tre’s two daugh­ters and 10-year-old son Adrian Jr. left their front-row seats near the dugout they had shared with fam­ily mem­bers, in­clud­ing Bel­tre’s par­ents.

“We have a lot of great base­ball play­ers in the Do­mini­can Repub­lic, and I’m proud to be one of them,” Bel­tre said, call­ing the mo­ment even more special be­ing able to share it with his father on what was Father’s Day in the Do­mini­can Repub­lic.

Now in his 20th big league sea­son, he is only the third player who is pri­mar­ily a third base­man in the 3,000-hit club, join­ing Hall of Famers Ge­orge Brett and Wade Boggs.

The mile­stone came only min­utes af­ter for­mer Rangers catcher Ivan Ro­driguez fin­ished his in­duc­tion speech at the Base­ball Hall of Fame in Coop­er­stown, New York. Bar­ring un­usual cir­cum­stances, get­ting 3,000 hits has tra­di­tion­ally been a ticket to the Hall.

Rangers man­ager Jeff Banis­ter, who re­ferred to Bel­tre as the “next Hall of Famer” said July 30 will for­ever be one that Texas fans will re­mem­ber as “Ranger Day.”

“Like we told him ear­lier, he means so much to this or­ga­ni­za­tion, to this team, a men­tor to ev­ery sin­gle player and coach,” Banis­ter said. “We thanked him for al­low­ing us to tag along this jour­ney with him, and be part of it.”

A pre-recorded mes­sage from Ro­driguez in Coop­er­stown con­grat­u­lat­ing Bel­tre for 3,000 hits was played on the sta­dium video boards af­ter the fourth ended.

“I just think it’s amaz­ing,” said Jeff Bag­well, who was in­ducted with Ro­driguez. “He’s just an amaz­ing base­ball player, ar­guably one of the best third base­men of all time. He can do ev­ery­thing. He plays hurt, he hits for av­er­age, he hits for power, drives in runs. He’s a great, great player.”

The only other cur­rent ac­tive player in the 3,000-hit club is Mi­ami Mar­lins out­fielder Ichiro Suzuki, who is tied with Hall of Fame player Craig Big­gio for 22nd all-time at 3,060 hits.

Bel­tre is tied for 30th place on the hits list with Roberto Cle­mente. Al Ka­line (3,007) and Boggs (3,010) are next up on the list.

Wade Mi­ley (5-9) went five in­nings and one of the four hits he al­lowed be­ing to Bel­tre, who grounded a 3-0 pitch that went past the bag and then ric­o­cheted off the side wall into left field. The Ori­oles lefty also got one of his five strike­outs when Bel­tre went down swing­ing in the sec­ond in­ning.

“As a fan of the game, what a ca­reer that guy’s had. I wasn’t try­ing to let him get a hit by any means, but at the same time as a fan, this had to hap­pen,” said Mi­ley, who joined his team­mates on the field ap­plaud­ing for Bel­tre. “He’s one of those guys that as a kid you watch. That’s the kind of re­spect I have for him.”

Rougned Odor home­red twice and drove in five runs for Texas. His two-run sin­gle in the fourth scored Bel­tre, who reached on a wild pitch af­ter strik­ing out in the eighth be­fore Odor’s sec­ond homer. No­mar Mazara also went deep.

Ori­oles closer Zach Brit­ton came on with two on in the ninth, strik­ing out Mazara and get­ting Bel­tre on a fielder’s choice grounder to end the game . Brit­ton has con­verted an AL-record 57 con­sec­u­tive save op­por­tu­ni­ties, eight this sea­son.

Bel­tre’s first hit came as a 19-year-old rookie with the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 24, 1998, four years af­ter they had signed him. Af­ter seven sea­sons with the Dodgers, he spent five years in Seattle and one in Boston be­fore join­ing the Rangers as a free agent in 2011, the year he fi­nally made it to a World Se­ries.

The dou­ble was Bel­tre’s 1,111th hit with the Rangers, af­ter 949 with the Dodgers, 751 with the Mariners, and 189 in his only sea­son with the Red Sox be­fore go­ing to Texas as a free agent. A power guy, he has never bunted for a hit.

It was Bel­tre’s 605th ca­reer dou­ble, match­ing Paul Moli­tor for 14th all-time. That also matched Mel Ott for 20th with 5,041 to­tal bases; and Bel­tre’s 454 homers are 38th on that list. He is also a five-time Gold Glove win­ner who had a ca­reerbest and fran­chise-record 62 con­sec­u­tive games at third base with­out an er­ror be­fore a throw­ing er­ror Satur­day night — and another Sun­day.

“Never in my life did I think about col­lect­ing 3,000 hits, play­ing 20 years, hit­ting 400-plus homers. I never ex­pected that, I never saw my­self do­ing that,” Bel­tre said. “When you play ev­ery day … and do the best you can to help your ball club, some­times you ac­cu­mu­late num­bers.” dead­line, Ver­lan­der (6-7) gave up five sin­gles and three walks while strik­ing out six.

The sub­ject of trade ru­mors since last win­ter, Ver­lan­der re­ceived a long stand­ing ova­tion from the crowd of 31,970 when he walked off the mound af­ter the sixth in­ning.

Lance McCullers Jr. (7-3), whose dad pitched for the Tigers in 1990, al­lowed five runs on eight hits in five-plus in­nings.


SEATTLE — James Pax­ton tossed six score­less in­nings, be­com­ing the first Mariners pitcher to win six games in a sin­gle month, and Nel­son Cruz had a three-run homer to pace Seattle.

Cruz pro­vided Pax­ton with an early cush­ion with a three-run shot in the first in­ning and Leonys Martin, re­called ear­lier in the day from Triple-A, home­red in his first at-bat and saved a pos­si­ble run with a div­ing catch in right field.

Pax­ton (11-3) had run­ners aboard in each of his six in­nings. The left­hander scat­tered six hits, strik­ing out eight and walk­ing none, with two hit bat­ters in a 108-pitch out­ing. Pax­ton, side­lined most of May with a left fore­arm strain, was 6-0 in six July starts, al­low­ing six earned runs in 39 1/3 in­nings with no home runs.

Seth Lugo (5-3) al­lowed five runs on eight hits in five in­nings, strik­ing out five and walk­ing none.


SAN DIEGO — An­drew McCutchen hit three home runs for the third time in his ca­reer to lift Pitts­burgh over San Diego.

McCutchen’s big day backed Ger­rit Cole (9-7), who pitched seven in­nings of five-hit ball for the Pi­rates.

It was just the sec­ond win in eight games for the Pi­rates, who ended the Padres’ four-game win­ning streak.

McCutchen has 22 homers. He con­nected with two outs in the first off left-han­der Clay­ton Richard (5-12), with the ball clear­ing the fence just out of the reach of cen­ter fielder Manuel Margot. He went deep again in the eighth off rookie Jose Tor­res and then home­red off the right-field foul pole with two outs in the ninth.

It was McCutchen’s third multi-homer game of the sea­son and 15th of his ca­reer. He also made a nice div­ing catch in cen­ter field to end the eighth.


NEW YORK — Corey Dick­er­son hit a go-ahead, two-run sin­gle in a three-run third, and Tampa Bay’S bullpen al­lowed one hit over five score­less in­nings to sal­vage the fi­nale of a four-game se­ries.

Ser­gio Romo, Dan Jennings, Steve Cishek and Tommy Hunter pitched hit­less re­lief af­ter rookie Ja­cob Faria started just four of 20 bat­ters with strikes and got only 12 outs on his 24th birth­day.

Cishek (2-1) pitched 1 2/3 in­nings, and Colome got three outs for his 30th save in 35 chances. Brett Gard­ner sin­gled with one out in the ninth, ad­vanced on a wild pitch and Clint Fra­zier walked. Colome then re­tired Aaron Judge on a fly­out and Matt Hol­l­i­day on a ground­out.

Tampa Bay, which had been 0-6 at Yan­kee Sta­dium this year, won de­spite strik­ing out 16 times. The Rays had lost eight of their pre­vi­ous 10 games.

Ron­ald Tor­reyes home­red and drove in a ca­reer-high three RBIs for the Yan­kees, who had won six straight and eight of nine.


BOSTON — Alex Gor­don’s two-run triple capped a four-run eighth in­ning, and Kansas City ral­lied to beat Boston a day af­ter its sea­son-high, nine-game win­ning streak was snapped.

Al­cides Es­co­bar added a two-run sin­gle in the eighth and drove in three runs for the Roy­als, who lost in ex­tra in­nings on Satur­day af­ter tak­ing the se­ries opener.

Rookie Rafael Dev­ers hit a solo homer for Boston and starter Drew Pomer­anz gave up one run on seven hits in 6 2/3 in­nings in his 100th ca­reer start.

Ja­son Ham­mel (5-8) al­lowed three runs on seven hits to end a six-start win­less streak. His last vic­tory also came against the Red Sox, at home on June 19.

Kelvin Her­rera got the fi­nal three outs for his 23rd save, get­ting Mookie Betts to fly out with the bases loaded.


TORONTO — Steve Pearce hit his sec­ond game-end­ing grand slam in just four days Toronto pulled off the big­gest ninth-in­ning come­back in team his­tory, ral­ly­ing for seven runs to beat Los Angeles.

Pearce con­nected with one out off Bud Nor­ris (1-4). On Thurs­day, Pearce’s slam with two outs in the 10th in­ning lifted Toronto over Oak­land 8-4.

Matt Der­mody (1-0) worked three in­nings for the win.

Al­bert Pu­jols hit two home runs for the An­gels, who were bid­ding for their first sweep since May.

CHICAGO — Matt Davidson hit a two-run homer in the ninth in­ning, and Chicago ended Cleve­land’s nine-game win­ning streak.

Chicago had lost 14 of 15 com­ing into the game, in­clud­ing seven straight at home, and traded fan fa­vorite Melky Cabr­era to Kansas City shortly be­fore the first pitch as part of a ros­ter over­haul.

Jose Abreu got the ninth-in­ning rally started with a dou­ble off Bryan Shaw (4-5) to set up Davi­don’s hero­ics, the 21st home run of his rookie sea­son.

Tyler Clip­pard (2-6) pitched a score­less ninth to earn the win, the first for the White Sox at Guar­an­teed Rate Field since July 2. That game fea­tured strong pitch­ing from Jose Quin­tana and David Robert­son, both of whom have since been traded.


ST. LOUIS — Lance Lynn threw six strong in­nings and Jose Martinez home­red and drove in three runs as St. Louis beat Ari­zona for its fifth win in seven games.

Lynn (9-6), the sub­ject of trade ru­mors the past few days, gave up two runs and four hits. He has al­lowed no more than two earned runs in each of his last six starts.

Lynn re­tired the last eight bat­ters he faced in im­prov­ing to 5-0 life­time against Ari­zona. Trevor Rosen­thal struck out the side in the ninth to pick up his sixth save in eight op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Martinez hit a two-run drive in the fourth to tie it, then had a sac­ri­fice fly in the sixth that scored Jedd Gy­orko with the go-ahead run.

Tai­juan Walker (6-5) al­lowed three runs on four hits over 5 2/3 in­nings. He struck out 10.


MI­AMI — Rookie Luis Castillo pitched a ca­reer-best eight in­nings, Tucker Barn­hart drove in three runs and Cincin­nati ended a six-game skid.

Castillo (2-4) al­lowed one run on three hits, strik­ing out six and walk­ing one. He out­pitched Dan Straily (7-7) — the right-han­ders were traded for each last Jan­uary as part of a four-player deal.

The Mar­lins, who got a three-run homer from Mar­cell Ozuna in the ninth off re­liever Raisel Igle­sias, had their four-game win­ning streak snapped. NL home run leader Gian­carlo Stan­ton was held out of Mi­ami’s lineup for the first time since May 31.


PHILADEL­PHIA — Freddy Galvis hit a bases-loaded sin­gle to right field in the ninth in­ning to give Philadel­phia its sec­ond straight walk-off win.

An­drew Knapp led off the ninth with a dou­ble to left off Rex Broth­ers (1-2). Man­ager Brian Snitker lifted Broth­ers for Akeel Mor­ris.

Mor­ris walked pinch-hit­ter Ty Kelly to put run­ners on first and sec­ond. Ce­sar Her­nan­dez was try­ing to ad­vance the run­ners with a sac­ri­fice, but his bunt stayed just inside the third-base line and Fred­die Free­man’s throw was not in time, load­ing the bases with no outs.

Galvis pulled Mor­ris’ sec­ond pitch into right to score Knapp and lift the Phillies to their fourth straight vic­tory and eighth in the last 11.

Kelly’s RBI sin­gle in the 11th on Satur­day night gave Philadel­phia a 4-3 win.

Hec­tor Neris (4-4) pitched a score­less ninth.


WASHINGTON — Adam Lind and Brian Good­win home­red in the fifth in­ning, and Washington beat Colorado to split a day-night dou­ble­header.

In the first game, Char­lie Black­mon had four hits and scored four runs, and the Rock­ies roughed up Erick Fedde in his ma­jor league de­but.

The Rock­ies had a 1-0 lead in the sec­ond game be­fore Lind’s two-run homer off Jon Gray (3-2). One out later, Good­win fol­lowed with his homer for a two-run lead.

Ed­win Jack­son (2-1) al­lowed four hits in seven in­nings, strik­ing out six. Sean Doolit­tle got his third save.

In the opener, Kyle Free­land (11-7) went five in­nings, al­low­ing nine hits and four runs while strik­ing out four.


OAK­LAND, Calif. — Yon­der Alonso home­red in the bot­tom of the 12th in­ning to lift the Oak­land over Min­nesota.

Alonzo’s 22nd homer of the sea­son came on the first pitch he saw from Tyler Duf­fey (0-3) and was his sec­ond game-end­ing home run of his ca­reer.

Oak­land, which won its sec­ond straight af­ter a six-game skid, came in tied with the Los Angeles Dodgers for the ma­jor league lead with eight game-end­ing hits.

Josh Smith (1-0) pitched two in­nings to pick up the win.

The Twins lost for the sixth time in seven games and fell to 1-5 on a dis­as­trous West Coast road trip in which they’ve blown leads in ev­ery game.


Texas Rangers Adrian Bel­tre hits a dou­ble off of Bal­ti­more Ori­oles start­ing pitcher Wade Mi­ley for his 3,000th ca­reer hit in the fourth in­ning of a game at Globe Life Park on Sun­day.

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