SEATTLE Third baseman Adrian Beltre is on manager Ron Washington’s lineup card Friday for the first time since April 9, a return that turns out to be perfect timing for the Texas Rangers.
Beltre is batting third, with first baseman Prince Fielder returning to the cleanup spot and right fielder Alex Rios back in the fifth hole. Beltre is activated from the disabled list after dealing with a strained left quadriceps muscle on the same day that Kevin Kouzmanoff, his fill-in, hits the disabled list because of a herniated disc.
Beltre was batting .286 (8 for 26) with four RBIs when he was injured running out an RBI double at Fenway Park. Kouzmanoff, the reining American Leauge Player of the Week, batted .362 (17 for 47) with two homers and 10 RBIs before he left Tuesday’s game early.
Kouzmanoff visited Dr. Drew Dossett, a back specialist, on Friday in Dallas and was diagnosed with the same injury that sidelined left-hander Matt Harrison last season. Kouzmanoff received and epidural injection and will rest this weekend before a decision is made on how to move forward. Surgery is possible.