Third baseman Adrian Beltre was allowed to continue playing Sunday afternoon after passing multiple tests for a concussion following being struck in the back of the head by a foul ball.
Beltre was watching from the Texas Rangers’ dugout against the railing in the third inning when Mike Napoli sent a hard one-hop foul ball toward him Beltre said that he saw the ball and had just enough time to turn his head.
The ball hit him, and he quickly headed into the clubhouse. He was the designated hitter in the 6-5 loss to the Minnesota Twins, so he wasn’t immediately needed in the field and didn’t return to the dugout until his at-bat in the fifth inning.
“I saw the ball all the way. I just didn’t want to have it hit my face,” Beltre said. “I’m a hard-headed guy. There’s a little bump, but it goes well with my head.”
What bothered Beltre more than the ball to the head was missing two chances with runners in scoring position. In the fifth, he hit a hard grounder to shortstop, and Shin-Soo Choo was thrown out at home. In the seventh, Beltre’s liner to center field was snagged before it found the outfield grass with a runner at third and two outs.
But his three-run homer in helped the Rangers build a 5-0 first-inning lead that Nick Martinez couldn’t keep.
“It was a situation where I should contribute,” Beltre said. “We came out and got the lead right away, and we weren’t able to keep attacking. We created situations, but we came up short. It’s tough losing the game when you start out winning 5-0.”