Injuries play part in Game 4
DETROIT -- Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre and Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez and outfielder Delmon Young are penciled in to the lineup for Game 4 of the AL Championship Series.
Martinez and Young had been receiving treatment for injuries, prompting Tigers manager Jim Leyland to say their status was "on hold."
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Beltre fouled a ball of his knee in Game 4 and experienced swelling, but manager Ron Washington said the knee looked better on Wednesday.
"I checked on him when I got here," Washington said. "He's moving better. He's a player."
Beltre said after the 5-2 Tigers win in Game 3 that he was hoping to play in Game 4. Washington added that the trainers put ice on the knee at various points during the game and also put a sleeve on it.
"He's a gamer," Washington said.
Martinez injured his oblique on his home run swing in the fourth inning of Game 3, gingerly jogging around the bases. Once in the dugout, he slammed his helmet and immediately headed to the trainer's room. He stayed in the game, drawing a walk in the fifth and flew out in the seventh.
Martinez hit cleanup in Game 3, with usual three-hole hitter Young out again with his own oblique injury suffered in Game 5 of the ALDS.
Initially left off the ALCS roster, Young was added after Magglio Ordonez fractured his ankle and was removed from the roster after Game 2. Young played in Game 2, but was not effective at the plate and was held out of Game 3.
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Beltre said the ball hit him just below the left kneecap. He went down to the ground and was looked at by a trainer and Washington. Beltre stayed in the game but was running slowly to first on a ground ball later that at-bat and didn't appear to move well during subsequent at-bats.
"It was sore," Beltre said. "It was good enough to be in there. I'm not speedy. I don't need to run hard."
X-rays taken on the knee were negative; the Rangers called it a left knee contusion.
Beltre said Tuesday that the knee did swell up on him a little and he planned to get treatment Tuesday night and prior to the game Wednesday.
Beltre's teammates knew he was in pain but weren't surprised to see him stay in there. Beltre has showed his toughness throughout the season, battling hamstring issues and aches and pains.
"I think everybody heard it," shortstop Elvis Andrus said of the ball hitting Beltre's leg. "It was pretty bad. Especially big guys that never swing slow. It's not a good feeling."
Beltre was 0-for-4 on Tuesday, but is hitting .285 with three homers (all in Game 4 of the ALDS) and five RBIs in the playoffs. He's been a steady presence with his defense at third base.
"He'll be fine. He'll be ready for tomorrow," Michael Young said.
As if the Tigers don't have enough injury woes, workhorse catcher Alex Avila has been struggling, and Leyland said that "he's pretty well banged up."
But that won't keep Avila out of the Game 4 lineup, it appears.
The Rangers are up 2-1 in the series.
Richard Durrett covers the Rangers for ESPNDallas.com. Jeff Caplan is a reporter for ESPNDallas.com.
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