ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Adrian Beltre wants to get to 3,000 hits as soon as possible. The Texas Rangers third baseman could reach that rare milestone in his next game.
Beltre had two more hits Friday night, pushing his career total to 2,998 with two RBI singles in the Rangers’ 8-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.
“I got closer, and I want to get it over with,” Beltre said. “Hopefully I can get it done sooner than later.”
The 38-year-old third baseman, in his 20th major league season, will soon become only the 31st player in the 3,000-hit club — maybe Saturday night. He is 9 of 14 in the four games since the Rangers returned home this week.
“High energy inside that dugout. A lot of energy from Adrian. It’s fun to watch,” manager Jeff Banister said. “A total buzz inside the dugout when he’s at the plate. Watch, everybody’s on the rail. They want to watch. They want to see it. They want to be part of it.”
After grounding out in the first, Beltre shattered his bat on a bloop single to center in the third, grounded a ball up the middle for a hit in the fifth, and had an infield popout in the seventh.
“You pull for him, but you’d rather it be against somebody else,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “I think everybody in baseball is proud of the way he’s handled himself through the years.”
Beltre, who won his fifth Gold Glove last season, has also played 62 consecutive games at third base without an error — a career best and the club record.
Ichiro Suzuki is the only current active player in the 3,000-hit club after reaching that milestone last season.
Elvis Andrus homered and Nomar Mazara had three doubles. Mazara put the Rangers ahead to stay when he drove in two runs in the first, then doubled again in the third and fifth innings — scoring both times on singles by Beltre.
Andrew Cashner (6-8) allowed only a solo homer by Jonathan Schoop in his seven innings. The Rangers right-hander struck out four and walked two.
Chris Tillman (1-6) allowed eight runs and nine hits in 4 1-3 innings. He struck out six, but trailed 2-0 before recording his first out of the game — Shin-Soo Choo drew a leadoff walk before Andrus singled and Mazara hit his first double. Tillman has allowed 17 runs in the first inning of his 14 starts.
“A couple bad pitches get away from me, and then I get back on track, and then get away from me again,” Tillman said. “Just inconsistent all around.”
ADDING A PITCHER
The Baltimore Orioles acquired RHP Jeremy Hellickson from the Philadelphia Phillies for OF Hyun Soo Kim and a Double-A left-hander. The deal was announced after the game. Hellickson is 6-5 with a 4.73 ERA in 20 starts for the Phillies this season.
Mazara was mired in an 0-for-26 slump before going 7 for 12 the last three games. Banister said Mazara was stubborn and stayed consistent with his process and approach. Mazara said he watched a lot of video and everything was fine. “I just wasn’t lucky enough to get a hit,” he said.
Schoop’s 23rd homer of the season was his eighth in July … Chris Davis had an RBI single in the eighth for the other Orioles run.
Orioles: OF Anthony Santander (elbow/shoulder), a Rule 5 draft pick, had two doubles in his first rehabilitation game for Double-A Bowie on Thursday night. Bowie’s scheduled game Friday night was rained out.
Rangers: C Robinson Chirinos was back in the lineup for the first time since spraining his left ankle in a home-plate collision last Sunday at Tampa Bay. … RHP Jake Diekman (colon) plans to throw another bullpen session Saturday, two days after throwing 35 pitches. He hopes to make his season debut by mid-August.
Baltimore RHP Kevin Gausman is 4-0 in his last six starts, and the only run he allowed over 24 1/3 innings in the wins was scored by the Rangers on July 19.
RHP Austin Bibens-Dirkx (3-0, 4.53 ERA), the 32-year-old Rangers rookie, makes his first start since June 30. He pitches in the spot of RHP Tyson Ross, who went on the 10-day disabled list with a blister on the index finger of his pitching hand after his start Sunday in Tampa Bay.
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