Beltre ends the power outage

September, 24, 2013
9/24/13
11:55
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- A relieved Adrian Beltre cranked his first home run in 28 days in the Rangers' 3-2 victory over the Houston Astros on Tuesday night.

It was a moment that, quite honestly, Beltre hasn't delivered in a while. He had carried the Rangers in July and August. He even pushed his way into the American League MVP race.

But the power had been out since Aug. 28 in Seattle. Beltre had reached 83 at-bats without a home run when he stepped up in the bottom of the sixth with the scored tied at 2. That's when he finally delivered against Astros starter Brad Peacock, sending a rocket into the left-field seats to give Texas a win on a wild night in the American League wild-card race.

[+] EnlargeAdrian Beltre
Tim Heitman/USA TODAY SportsAdrian Beltre snapped a homerless drought of 83 at-bats to give the Rangers their 24th win out of 27 games in which he's homered.
When Beltre homers, the Rangers win. They are now 24-3 when he goes deep.

"Apparently, I found out a way today," Beltre said of his 29th homer. "It’s been a long time. It felt good. It felt really good. I haven’t had that feeling in a long time."

Neither had his teammates. They were sleeping when he arrived to the dugout instead of fighting to get to him to take his helmet off and touch his head, something he hates. This time, only manager Ron Washington came up on the dugout steps to greet Beltre.

"I can’t blame them," Beltre said. "It’s been a long time, but hopefully that’ll be the beginning of a couple this week. Not because I hit a homer, but because it was a good spot to hit it to give our ballclub the lead, and that’s what I want."

This was another big win because the Astros team that sleepwalked through a 12-0 loss on Monday was much more energized for the Rangers and Yu Darvish. Not to mention that the Rangers desperately needed the win to keep pace with the Tampa Bay Rays and Cleveland Indians, who both won their fifth straight game on Tuesday.

The Indians won 5-4 over the Chicago White Sox on a walk-off homer by 42-year-old Jason Giambi. Beltre admitted he was scoreboard watching and saw that Cleveland had won to stay a game ahead of the Rangers. Texas is two back of the Rays for the first wild-card spot.

"I think every inning I was watching the scoreboard," Beltre said. "It’s right there to look at, so every time I get a chance, I look[ed] back to see what the score was."

The Rangers won a night when Darvish again wasn't at his best. For the third time in September, he didn't make it through six innings. Also for the third time since the All-Star break, Darvish allowed a game-tying home run after the Rangers had given him the lead. The Astros joined the Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox by accomplishing that against Darvish.

Darvish didn't have much to say about giving up another lead.

"The most important thing right now is to win a game," Darvish said. "I was able to keep us in the game, and that's all I can say."

The bullpen -- along with Beltre -- won the game for the Rangers. Neal Cotts got three outs, and Tanner Scheppers picked up four as Washington went to the bullpen earlier with the game on the line.

Then, with two runners on and two outs in the top of the eighth and Scheppers tiring -- he said so after the game -- Washington went to Jason Frasor, who got Astros catcher Carlos Corporan out.

Frasor took the loss on Friday in Kansas City when Neftali Feliz walked in the go-ahead run with the bases loaded, all runners Frasor had put on. So Frasor wanted to get the bad taste out of his mouth.

He threw two fastballs to Corporan to get ahead. He threw a third to Corporan, who hit a ball to shallow center field that looked like it was dropping at first. Center fielder Leonys Martin came in and made the catch, ending the inning.

"When I first saw it go up, I thought it was going to fall in," Frasor said. "I couldn't tell how shallow Leonys was playing. He must have gotten a good jump. He came in and got it."

Joe Nathan closed it out, and the Rangers are still in striking distance of the Indians and Rays with five games to go.

And Adrian Beltre has his power back.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Adrian Beltre
BA HR RBI R
.324 19 77 79
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Beltre 19
RBIA. Beltre 77
RA. Beltre 79
OPSA. Beltre .879
WC. Lewis 10
ERAC. Lewis 5.18
SOY. Darvish 182