ARLINGTON -- Adrian Beltre came into Friday's game needing four hits, and now he's only got two to go. Beltre recorded a pair of RBI singles in the Rangers' 8-2 win over the Orioles, and while it was great for the team to get back on track after a bizarre
ARLINGTON -- Adrian Beltre came into Friday's game needing four hits, and now he's only got two to go. Beltre recorded a pair of RBI singles in the Rangers' 8-2 win over the Orioles, and while it was great for the team to get back on track after a bizarre loss to Miami on Wednesday, there's only one thing that's on everybody's mind now.
Beltre is 9-for-14 over the first four games of the Rangers' homestand, and he's 11-for-19 in his past five games. He's just two hits shy of becoming the 31st player to reach 3,000 career hits and the first Dominican-born player to achieve the feat. It's on his mind, it's on the Rangers' minds and it's on the fans' minds.
The players all gather on the dugout railing while he's batting. Globe Life Park buzzes with anticipation, and even the opponents are secretly hoping he gets a hit -- other than the pitcher.
And with the way Beltre has been swinging the bat lately -- he's got a team-high .377 batting average since the All-Star break -- the only uncertainty is when it's going to happen, and what the subsequent reaction and celebration is going to be like.
For a seasoned veteran like Beltre, he admitted he's not quite sure what he's going to do when that moment occurs.
"I don't think [a celebration] is going to happen. I don't know, I can't control that," Beltre said, of what the scene is going to look like. "I haven't talked to anybody about it. I'm a rookie in this kind of stuff."
He might not know how to act, but there's at least one member of the Rangers who's been there before. Andrew Cashner, who shut the Orioles down on Friday, was a member of the Marlins last year when Ichiro Suzuki recorded his 3,000th hit.
"It's special. I've had one other teammate get that milestone when I was with Ichiro last year," Cashner said. "And to watch Beltre do it, just his overall work, the way he shows up every day, the relentlessness that he shows up to want to play no matter how he feels, he's truly a special player. I don't think he'll ever come around again."
It'll be tough for Beltre to allow himself to enjoy the moment. He's as focused on the task at hand as they come, and for all of his trademark goofiness on the field, he hunkers down when it matters most and does what he needs to help the team win.
So, he admitted, it'll be tough to let up and soak in the moment. But he's going to give it a shot.
"I don't know, I'll try," Beltre said, smiling. "We'll see when I get there."
Sam Butler is a reporter for MLB.com based in Arlington.