Rangers notes: Adrian Beltre making case for All-Star appearance
06/29/2014 8:20 PM
06/29/2014 9:31 PM
On Monday night, Adrian Beltre will leave behind a month that was among the most prolific in baseball, capped by the last six days that bordered on the absurd.
The Rangers third baseman went 1 for 4 with an RBI on Sunday to finish a six-game homestand 12 for 20 with two doubles, a home run and seven RBIs.
Beltre could have had two more hits if not for nice plays by Minnesota third baseman Eduardo Escobar and right fielder Oswaldo Arcia.
Beltre has been one of the best hitters in baseball since limping into May, hitting .351 with 72 hits in 53 games since the start of that month. For the month of June, he has hit .393.
“I’m not surprised,” manager Ron Washington said. “He’s taking now what the pitcher is giving him and using the whole field.
“It’s what good hitters do when they find their stride. Took him a while to get going, but he’s locked into being Beltre.”
Beltre hit .234 with no home runs and only five RBIs while also missing 14 games in April with a strained quadriceps muscle.
Beltre is making a strong case for inclusion on the All-Star team, though he will likely finish behind Oakland’s Josh Donaldson in American League balloting.
Donaldson’s 18 home runs and 61 RBIs are better than Beltre’s nine and 42, but the A’s third baseman is hitting only .250, including .186 in June.
“He got off to a slow start, but once he finds it, he usually holds onto it,” Washington said of Beltre. “He’s been around long enough to know how to find it and hold it.”
Saves are safe, but ...
Joakim Soria, who didn’t get favorable results for a second consecutive outing Sunday, giving up the winning run in the ninth inning of a 3-2 loss to Minnesota, has a strange stat working.
In save situations, he’s been brilliant, converting 15 of 16 opportunities with a 0.59 ERA in 15 1/3 innings. In non-save situations, he’s 1-2 with a 5.84 ERA in 12 1/3 innings.
His problems, however, have been limited to three specific non-save situations, including Sunday and Friday.
The Twins didn’t shell him Sunday. Both hits he yielded were seeing-eye ground balls, including Kendrys Morales’ game-winner that found just enough space past third base. He wound up striking out the side.
“The pitches they hit were good pitches, found the lines, found the holes,” Soria said. “Today the ball found the holes. ... It’s part of baseball. Sometimes you have a tough one; it’s been two times in a row, so you just move on.”
Sardinas sent down
The Rangers sent infielder Luis Sardinas to Triple A Round Rock after Sunday’s game. Adam Rosales will be called up.
The 21-year-old Sardinas hit .288 in 66 at-bats in two stints with the Rangers. He was most recently recalled May 7. His second stint included a seven-game hitting streak.
“We want him to play,” Washington said. “He’s done a great job for us, but I don’t think he’s developing sitting here. He needs to play. We know he can, and this is going to be good for him that he gets out every day.”
Rosales is hitting .276 with seven home runs and 43 RBIs in 72 games at Round Rock. He’s played every infield position.
Soto getting closer
Washington termed catcher Geovany Soto’s progress on an accelerated rehab program as “so far, so good.”
Soto, who hasn’t played this season after knee surgery, will be re-evaluated at the end of next week and could soon begin a rehab stint in the minors, Washington said.
Soto caught Nick Tepesch’s bullpen session Sunday.
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