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Emotional Andrus lets Beltre soak up No. 3,000

MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- It was going to be a double. Elvis Andrus knew it.

He had remembered that Adrian Beltre's first career hit had been a double, so of course, the one to give him 3,000 for his career would follow suit. And, like the prophet he was, Andrus was right in Sunday's 10-6 Rangers loss to the Orioles.

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ARLINGTON -- It was going to be a double. Elvis Andrus knew it.

He had remembered that Adrian Beltre's first career hit had been a double, so of course, the one to give him 3,000 for his career would follow suit. And, like the prophet he was, Andrus was right in Sunday's 10-6 Rangers loss to the Orioles.

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:: Beltre joins 3,000-hit club ::

"It was easy for me," Andrus said. "I knew his first hit was a double. A lot of people thought it was going to be a homer, and I was just like, 'No, it's going to be a double.' I said that probably, like, a year ago that it was going to be a double for No. 3,000. And I didn't miss that one."

Andrus has been Beltre's partner on the left side of the Rangers' infield since 2011, when Beltre signed with Texas. Their history is well-documented, notably Andrus' propensity to touch Beltre's head or stand right behind him on infield popups.

On Sunday, when Beltre roped a double off Orioles starter Wade Miley for his historic hit, Andrus didn't sprint out and tackle him or start going for his head. Instead, he played the part of the adult, telling his teammates to back off.

"When it happens, you want to let him enjoy that moment," Andrus said. "There are a lot of people that deserve to enjoy that moment, like his family, kids, then us as his teammates. So many things that, as a player, you go through in your career and so many people help you get there. That's what I told the guys, 'Let's give him space, it's all about him right now. So let's let him enjoy it with his family and friends, and then we can do something here in the clubhouse.' It was just a great time, man."

In fact, while the rest of the Rangers were on the top step of the dugout while Beltre batted, Andrus was sitting on the bench, waiting. But when he knew it happened, Andrus leapt off his seat and joined the rest of his teammates.

Video: Beltre earns his place in history with 3,000th hit

It was then that the magnitude of what was transpiring in front of Andrus hit him, and he wasn't ready for it.

"I did get emotional," Andrus said. "It's kind of weird when you get emotional for things that are not related to you. But in this case, I knew it was going to happen. I've been playing with him for a couple of years now, and I got a feeling. I mean, we all knew it was going to happen at some point. But to actually be in that moment, it was pretty special. Kind of hard to explain in words, everything he's done for this game, the way he's always handled business -- it's really remarkable.

"It's a hard thing to do. That's why there's only 31 people through the whole history of baseball to have done it. When you're in the middle of that and you get to see it with your own eyes, it's a really special moment, something historical, and something that you will tell your kids in the future."

Video: BAL@TEX: Banister, Andrus discuss Beltre's 3,000th hit

Getting emotional was to be expected. But for a player like Beltre, the best reaction anyone could have was pure, unfiltered joy.

"Only thing I can equate that to is being 12 or 13 years old and being out on the sandlot and playing a game and it's all fun and there's nothing wrong in the world," Andrus said. "And when you watch Adrian play, that's how you feel. You watch his smile."

Sam Butler is a reporter for MLB.com based in Arlington.

Texas Rangers, Elvis Andrus, Adrian Beltre