ARLINGTON -- From the moment Adrian Beltre stepped up to the plate in the first inning on Saturday, everyone at Globe Life Park could feel the atmosphere change. Every one of the 44,658 in attendance stood on their feet, cheering as if the Rangers were in the middle of a heated postseason game.
Beltre's quest to 3,000 hits reached its penultimate stop, as he went 1-for-4 with a single in the fourth inning off Orioles starter Kevin Gausman. He's got one more hit to go. There were chances for Beltre to reach that milestone during Saturday's 4-0 loss, but he grounded out in his three other at-bats. He said he wasn't anxious, but really he wasn't all too sure.
"Just trying to find a pitch to hit," Beltre said. "It felt really cool the way the fans were in it. I'm trying to get it over with, yes. But I wasn't anxious. Or maybe I was; I don't know."
The most effective detriment to his arrival at the historic milestone was Gausman, who pitched 8 2/3 innings of the shutout. He didn't allow an extra-base hit, and he retired 10 straight batters at one point.
But Gausman couldn't avoid snapping out of the zone he was in whenever Beltre came to the plate.
"Early on, I could tell it was going to be a different type of atmosphere in the ballpark tonight," Gausman said. "I was trying to just not give it up to Beltre. It was a lot of fun. Every time he came up, everybody in the stadium was standing. That was pretty cool."
Beltre also took note of the difference in the stadium. He noticed it even moreso after collecting No. 2,999.
"It felt a little different," Beltre said. "Obviously, I mean, because this could be it. I went to home plate knowing that could be the at-bat to get to 3,000. But it didn't happen. So from now on, every at-bat could be it."
The Globe Life Park crowd certainly had the thought on its collective mind as well. In each of Beltre's at-bats after he singled in the fourth, the uproar reached a delirious level when his name was announced on the loudspeaker.
After Beltre grounded into a double play in the ninth, the crowd exhaled. His name will have to wait until at least Sunday to be etched into the record books.