KANSAS CITY -- Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre continued to pass more Hall of Famers with a three-run home run off Royals pitcher Jason Hammel in the sixth inning of Friday night's 5-3 win at Kauffman Stadium.The home run, coming with the Rangers trailing 3-0, was the 453rd of Beltre's
KANSAS CITY -- Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre continued to pass more Hall of Famers with a three-run home run off Royals pitcher Jason Hammel in the sixth inning of Friday night's 5-3 win at Kauffman Stadium.
The home run, coming with the Rangers trailing 3-0, was the 453rd of Beltre's career, passing Carl Yastrzemski for 38th all-time. The three RBIs gave Beltre 1,601 for his career to move past Nap Lajoie for 35th all-time, according to MLB.com.
It also didn't come easy. The Rangers didn't have a hit off Hammel until Elvis Andrus reached on a one-out infield single. Nomar Mazara followed with a single to left, bringing up Beltre.
"Hammel had good stuff," Beltre said. "He was locating his fastball and his breaking ball. But a lot of guys were having good at-bats off him and we felt we could find a way to score some runs."
Hammel got ahead 1-2 in the count and then he missed with a slider in the dirt. Hammel threw a fastball that jammed Beltre and he fouled it off.
In fact, he fouled it off his ... inner left thigh?
"Uh, a little higher than that," Beltre said.
Beltre needed some time to shake that one off, which also allowed him to freeze Hammel.
"I wish that's what it was," Beltre said.
Hammel then threw a slider and Beltre smashed it into the left-center-field seats for a three-run home run.
"He's a tough at-bat," Beltre said. "He threw me some tough pitches, in and out. I was able to wait for my pitch. He put it over the plate and I was able to put a good swing on it."
Beltre certainly wasn't fooled by the slider.
"From what I know and experienced facing him, [Beltre] sits [offspeed] with two strikes," Hammel said. "I'd thrown quite a few to him already. He was looking for it. Especially after hitting one off his inner thigh the pitch before. He's a good hitter. That's why he's almost at 3,000 hits."
Beltre also had a single in his final at-bat, giving him 2,980 hits for his career.
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.