Moment No. 7: Adrian Beltre's September dramatics
Memorable Moment No. 7: Adrian Beltre wins two late-September games despite injuries.
The Rangers' third baseman certainly showed his toughness and grit as the season was winding down. Despite abdominal pain, Beltre talked himself into the lineup on Sept. 20 in Anaheim and ended up hitting a two-run homer in the ninth inning to break a 1-1 tie and give the Rangers a series win. It was an important victory at the time, keeping the Rangers ahead in the AL West as the Oakland A's began to charge.
Four days later, the Rangers welcomed the A's to town for a big four-games series in the hotly-contested AL West The Rangers fell behind in the first game after Derek Holland struggled, but they mounted a comeback. Down 4-2 in the seventh, Josh Hamilton drew a two-out walk to bring Beltre to the plate. The veteran hit a two-run, opposite-field homer off reliever Pat Neshek to tie the score. The sellout crowd at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, noting what Beltre did four days earlier in Anaheim, chanted "MVP" in tribute. Beltre said after the game that he didn't hear them.
But he came up again in the ninth with the game on the line. With two runners on base and no outs, the A's decided to intentionally walk Hamilton and take their chances again with Beltre. He made them pay, hitting a walk-off single to give the Rangers a 5-4 win. The players mobbed Beltre and, of course, rubbed his head. It put the Rangers five games up in the AL West with nine games to play, a lead they would not end up holding as they fell to the A's on the final day of the regular season.
The two games showed how tough Beltre is and that even with injuries, he can play at a high level. He was so good in September that he earned AL player of the month honors.
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