Beltre homers three times, Moreland adds grand slam in Rangers' 12-3 rout
Beltre homers three times, Moreland whacks a grand slam in Rangers' rout
08/22/2012 11:39 PM
04/18/2013 7:29 PM
ARLINGTON -- A May downpour last season wiped out what would have been the first career grand slam for Mitch Moreland.
No rain showers were in sight Wednesday night when he did it again, but this one might also be wiped from many fans' minds because of another fierce storm.
Adrian Beltre homered in his first three at-bats, including two in one inning, and Moreland matched his career-high with five RBIs as the Rangers roughed up Tommy Hunter and the Baltimore Orioles en route to a 12-3 victory.
Beltre, who also drove in five runs, grounded out in the sixth and bounced into a double play in the eighth as he vied for a four-homer game. But he gladly settled for the first regular-season three-homer game of his career.
"Any time, any day," said Beltre, who became the ninth third baseman in major league history with 10 20-homer seasons. "It was a lot of fun. Finally, I got a good game offensively. I've been kind of struggling for a couple weeks. Today was a good day. I hit the ball hard in the air."
Moreland's grand slam and the second and third Beltre homers came in a nine-run fourth inning. The only other Rangers player to hit two homers in the same inning is Carl Everett, who pulled off the feat on July 26, 2002 against Oakland.
Josh Hamilton, who became the 16th player in major league history to hit four homers in a game May 8 at Baltimore, was on base for two of the Beltre homers and was pulling for a fourth.
"I told him to do it so we could get a figurine of us," Hamilton said. "It's exciting to be on base to see it first-hand. It's a neat experience."
Beltre, who had a three-homer game last year in Game 4 of the American League Division Series at Tampa Bay, said he wasn't aware that he had hit two homers in the fourth until a teammate reminded him of it.
If he thought it was a long inning, imagine how Hunter felt.
Hunter, a 2007 Rangers draft choice who was traded away last year in the Koji Uehara deal, surrendered eight of the runs in the fourth and nine overall. He faced eight batters in the fourth and failed to record an out.
"That's the way it goes sometimes," Moreland said. "Tommy's a competitor, and he's going to throw you strikes. You've got to go up there and battle."
Moreland remembers the day he lost his grand slam. He hit it off Gio Gonzalez on May 11, 2011, as the Rangers stormed to a 7-0 lead before rain soaked Rangers Ballpark. The sun was out within 20 minutes of the game being called.
His teammates remembered, too.
"That was the first thing everybody said to me when I got in the dugout," Moreland said. "They thought rain was coming."
The Rangers' onslaught, which included three more hits from David Murphy, came on the five-year anniversary of the biggest game by an offense in major league history. The Rangers beat Baltimore 30-3 in 2007 in the first game of a doubleheader at Camden Yards.
"I wouldn't have known that today was the day we put up those 30 runs if I hadn't been reminded," manager Ron Washington said. "It was just another day, and Baltimore was on the schedule."
Derek Holland (8-6) benefited from the tremendous run support, allowing three runs in seven innings as the Rangers maintained a five-game lead over Oakland in the AL West.
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760
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