Nearly 45,000 fans filled Globe Life Park Saturday night with hopes of seeing Adrian Beltre make history.
The 38-year-old Rangers third baseman came close. Tantalizing close. He went 1 for 4 to bring his all-time hit total to 2,999. One more and he becomes the 31st player ever to collect 3,000 hits.
His lone hit came in the fourth inning, leaving him with two more at-bats in the game. The large crowd, which included 8,000 of whom purchased their seats between the time Friday’s game ended and Saturday’s game began, was into the historic moment and cheered wildly each time Beltre came to the plate. He grounded out to short in the sixth in his first chance and hit into a 5-4-3 double play in the ninth. The Rangers lost a 4-0 dud to the Orioles.
“It was nice support from the fans. It felt really nice. Unfortunately it didn’t happen today,” Beltre said. “It’s probably better if we can do it tomorrow with a win.”
Indeed, Sunday could be a very historic day for the Rangers’ franchise.
Pudge Rodriguez enters the Baseball Hall of Fame and Beltre tries again for the mammoth milestone. Set your DVRs, get out to Globe Life Park and enjoy it all. Plenty of seats are available as of late Saturday night.
Here’s the Rangers reaction from a Saturday night in Arlington:
1. Beltre the defenceman — Pardon the position term from hockey, but Adrian Beltre is regarded as one of the best third baseman to ever play the game (No. 1 if he keeps playing like this and racks up unparalleled all-time totals) and that has as much to do with his defense as his bat. Oddly, Beltre’s career-best stretch of 62 error-free games came to an end with a throwing error in the seventh inning. It’s a Rangers’ record at third base and his first error of the season. Later, Beltre made a running over-the-head catch on a foul ball down the left-field line look routine. Of course he did.
2. ABD’s first loss — Austin Bibens-Dirkx allowed four runs in five innings and took the loss, his first after a 3-0 start. He handled the big crowd and could have escaped the third with no runs scoring if a slow grounder had been hit harder by Trey Mancini. Instead, a run scored when the Rangers couldn’t complete the 4-6-3 double play. Another run came in with a single to give the Orioles a 4-0 lead.
“If Mancini hits the ball just a little harder, the double play gets turned, and I’m out of that without any damage,” he said. “But that’s baseball, it’s a game of inches. He beat the throw out by probably a couple of inches.”
3. Barnette brings it — Tony Barnette threw three scoreless innings of relief and recorded a career-high six strikeouts while holding the Orioles without a hit. The three-inning stint matched a career high, which he did May 5 in Seattle. He’s the third Rangers’ reliever since 2000 to strike out six or more in in three or fewer innings. Dario Alvarez had six in 2 1/3 innings on Sept. 5, 2016 and Ron Mahay had seven strikeouts in three innings on Aug. 18, 2003. Barnette threw a career-high 52 pitches, 15 more than his previous high on May 5. He has a 0.90 ERA and 14 strikeouts over his last five outings (10 innings).
4. Rehab in Round Rock — Right-hander A.J. Griffin allowed two singles and a walk and struck out four in two scoreless innings for Triple A Round Rock Saturday night. It’s Griffin’s third rehab outing. He could be available to return to the rotation this week. He’s been on the disabled list with a left intercostal strain since May 27.