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Beltre strains hamstring on play at third

MLB.com

ST. PETERSBURG -- Adrian Beltre exited Thursday's 5-1 loss to the Astros in the seventh inning with a strained left hamstring. He will have an MRI Friday.

Beltre ranged toward the infield grass to field J.D. Davis' roller and started to throw, but his legs buckled and he held on to the ball instead. Trainers came out to check on the third baseman, who immediately came out of the game walking cautiously under his own power.

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ST. PETERSBURG -- Adrian Beltre exited Thursday's 5-1 loss to the Astros in the seventh inning with a strained left hamstring. He will have an MRI Friday.

Beltre ranged toward the infield grass to field J.D. Davis' roller and started to throw, but his legs buckled and he held on to the ball instead. Trainers came out to check on the third baseman, who immediately came out of the game walking cautiously under his own power.

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It's too soon to tell the extent of the injury, Beltre said, but he added that "today it doesn't really feel good."

"Right now, I don't think so. I can't play with this," Beltre said. "But again, let's see what happens tomorrow with the MRI, and then we can see how it goes."

Beltre did not play his first game in 2017 until May 29 due to a right calf injury, but he has not missed a game since June 9. He was batting .392 over his past 20 games before Thursday and .364 in his past 35 contests.

Beltre has been a major force in the Rangers' lineup in August, with 30 runs driven in this month. That's the most RBIs in a month for a Rangers since Josh Hamilton pushed across 32 in May 2012. Texas went 16-12 in August, their best month of the season.

"You're playing so well, got a shot to come to the postseason, pretty much everybody healthy playing together, and I felt like I'm letting the team down," Beltre said. "It's not like anybody wants to get hurt, but … I was out for a long time, I was good enough to help this ballclub win some ballgames, and now this. It's disappointing."

Drew Robinson moved to third in Beltre's absence Thursday, with Joey Gallo shifting into left field and Mike Napoli entering to take over first base. Beltre was 0-for-2 with a walk before exiting, ending his seven-game hitting streak.

Each of Gallo's starts this year came at third base until Beltre made his season debut. Robinson has been used primarily in left field among his many roles, but he has played at the hot corner as well.

Rosters expand Friday with the first day of September. Jurickson Profar and Will Middlebrooks are in the Minor League system if the Rangers feel a need to utilize them in some capacity. Middlebrooks, a third baseman by trade, has hit 23 homers and slugged .529 for Triple-A Round Rock. Profar could be used as a utility infielder, and he has batted .289 for Round Rock.

An outfield spot could also open up for Willie Calhoun if Beltre must miss an extended period of time. Acquired from the Dodgers in the Yu Darvish trade, Calhoun has hit 29 home runs with 83 RBIs, a .292 average and a .560 slugging percentage in Triple-A this season.

Manager Jeff Banister said prior to Thursday's game that outside of an injury to a key member of the lineup, it would be tough to envision a position player having a regular role with the Rangers in September. Should Beltre's injury sideline him for long, a door might have indeed opened for a Minor League callup.

Connor Mount is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg who covered the Rangers on Thursday.

Texas Rangers, Adrian Beltre