Career hit No. 2,977 was career homer No. 451, a three-run shot in the second inning that gave Beltre 1,596 career RBIs. That’s one more run driven in than Mike Schmidt, the Philadelphia Phillies great, and Beltre moved into a tie for 32nd all time with George Brett, the Kansas City Royals great.
Schmidt and Brett are already in the Hall. Beltre will be joining them.
Another homer, by the way, will move Beltre into a tie for 39th with Carl Yastrzemski, who, you guessed it, is in the Hall of Fame. Beltre also has 5,003 total bases, and only 20 others in history have reached that mark.
But the one thing Beltre doesn’t have is that Cole Hamels mustache.
Here’s some Rangers Reaction from a 10-0 blanking of the Angels.
1. The greatest mustache in Globe Life Park on Friday night was at the center of it all, as Hamels chopped off his beard Wednesday night but left one terrific soup-strainer.
It’s spectacular, really.
The masses were quick to call it a porn mustache. (I have no idea what that means.) His teammates were calling him “Officer” before the game.
“He looks like the police,” catcher Robinson Chirinos said.
The mustache is a lost art. Goatees and bears remain in vogue, but the straight-up mustache is on the endangered species list. Ron Washington and Mike Maddux wear pretty sharp ones, but, of course, they’re no longer players. Derek Holland is the last Rangers player I can remember wearing a mustache, if you can call it that.
Hamels said that he’s run this play before but usually later in a season.
“When it looks this hideous, you want to go out and not perform,” Hamels said. “It’s just something all of us in this clubhouse just have fun with. It was the right time.”
But maybe the mustache starts to catch on. Maybe the Rangers ride the momentum of the Hamels mustache into a long winning streak that turns around their season.
“That ‘stache was working today,” Beltre said.
Hamels was as magnificent as the mustache, possibly more so. He allowed three singles and a walk in 7 2/3 scoreless innings. Manager Jeff Banister came to the mound to get him after 95 pitches, a cautious play in Hamels’ third start after a seven-week stint on the disabled list.
The Rangers have had consecutive games in which their starter pitched at least seven innings without allowing an earned run. Andrew Cashner allowed two unearned Wednesday in seven innings.
They might be a little short on the upper lip, though Darvish once sported a ‘stache in Japan, but the Hamels mustache probably has the magical vibes to help those two anyway.
It’s spectacular, really.
“I don’t think you’re going to see too many guys on the ballclub wearing it in the future,” Hamels said.
2. Don’t look now, but Rougned Odor is carrying a nine-game hitting streak and has pushed his average all the way to .222, where it also was June 16. Don’t laugh; that’s the highest it’s been since April 15.
It’s not just a bunch of seeing-eye singles propping up his number. Odor is driving balls out of the ballpark, but also to all fields. He went 3 for 4 with a homer. One of the two singles he had against the Angels was an opposite-field liner past third base.
His home run followed Beltre’s blast, giving the Rangers back-to-back home runs for the first time this season. Considering how often the Rangers have done deep this year — they hit three homers Friday and have 130 in 86 games (fourth in MLB) — that stands out.
The Rangers believe they will be contenders, and one reason is that they expect underperforming players to start to perform better. Odor is in that group, though with 17 homers he hasn’t been a complete lump at the plate.
He still has some wild swings in him, and always will, but there’s more in him than he has shown.
As the Rangers weight if they will sell at the trade deadline — and apparently they might not — Odor’s production factors into the decision-making.
3. No Rangers players will participate in the All-Star Game, barring a rash of injuries to players selected to the American League roster, after the Rangers convinced Darvish that pitching Tuesday after a Sunday start might not be in the team’s best interest or his.
The reasoning makes sense, of course. He is in his first full season after Tommy John surgery in 2015 and is on pace for 200-plus innings. Darvish had some tightness in his triceps only three starts ago.
The Rangers are so concerned about the right-hander that they won’t pitch him until the third game after the All-Star break, in part because Darvish plans to attend the All-Star festivities.
He can sit in the dugout with Corey Kluber, who also is pitching Sunday and won’t participate, and make faces across the field at Clayton Kershaw, a National League All-Star who is in the same situation.
Darvish will have to face the media on Monday, and he has already been prepped for questions from media in other markets wondering if he would like to pitch for the team they cover. The main national writers might also inquire.
It will be interesting to hear what he says and at which point his patience runs out as the writers make their way throughout the ballroom where the All-Stars are stationed for 45 minutes of questions.
Maybe that will be enough to convince him to go a beach, other than in Miami, for the All-Star break.