ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Adrian Beltre was given a standing ovation when he was removed from what could be his last home game for Texas, just before the Rangers rallied for four runs in the sixth inning to beat the Seattle Mariners 6-1 on Sunday.
The 39-year-old, playing his 21st major league season, struck out twice and is hitting .275 with 14 homers and 61 RBIs. The four-time All-Star, the active hits leader with 3,162, went to third base just after the game became official — his 2,758 appearances at third are second only to Brooks Robinson’s 2,870. Rougned Odor ran out of the dugout and hugged Beltre, entering the game as Jurickson Profar moved from second base to third.
“I want to get another at-bat but I didn’t want to be rude,” Beltre said.
Teammates hugged Beltre as the crowd of 31,269 rose to its feet. He acknowledged the cheers with a tip and wave of his cap, then descended into the dugout to more hugs.
“It was goose bumps and some tears along with Adrian, because he teared up pretty good,” interim manager Don Wakamatsu said. “He’s been such a leader for a lot of the young guys here. It’s a pretty emotional moment for everybody.”
Beltre is in his eighth season in Texas after time with Seattle, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston, and he has not said whether he wants to return for next season. He said he will make his decision after discussions with his wife and three children.
“Mentally, I’m ready for whatever decision I’m going to make. I’m ready to accept the fact that maybe this is it. If it’s not, I want to be ready mentally to go through another year.”
The Rangers finish their season on the road after going 34-47 at home, the second-most home losses since the team moved to Texas, behind 33-48 in 2014.
While Beltre was signing autographs before the game, some fans held up signs pleading with him to stay with the Rangers.
“It was just nice to know that some people care about me,” Beltre said.
Seattle lost a day after it was eliminated from the postseason contention, extending the longest playoff drought among the four major U.S. pro sports to 17 years.
Guillermo Heredia’s double in the second put the Mariners ahead, but the Rangers took a 4-1 lead in the sixth when Nomar Mazara chased starter Wade LeBlanc (8-5) with a two-run double, Robinson Chirinos hit an RBI single off Nick Vincent and Carlos Tocci had a sacrifice fly against James Pazos. Joey Gallo added his 39th homer, a two-run drive in the eighth against Ryan Cook.
Jeffrey Springs (1-1), the second of five Texas pitchers, allowed two hits in two scoreless innings. Jose Leclerc pitched a perfect ninth inning to extend his scoreless innings streak to 19.
Seattle finished its road schedule 44-37, its second-most wins away from home since 2002, behind only 46-35 four years ago.
WHERE HAVE THEY GONE?
Texas drew 2,107,107 at home, an average of 26,014, its lowest home attendance since 1,945,677 in 2008.
Texas observed a moment of silence before the game in memory of Dr. B.J. Mycoskie, the Rangers’ medical director from 1972-85. He died Sunday at age 95.
Mariners: RHP Felix Hernandez (strained right hamstring) is slated to return Tuesday to make his first start since Sept. 8. “He has some problems with the leg,” manager Scott Servais said. “It is important just to go into the offseason with peace of mind.”
Mariners: LHP James Paxton (11-6, 3.83), sidelined by pneumonia since Sept. 7, starts Monday’s series opener against Oakland and LHP Brett Anderson (4-5, 3.96).
Rangers: RHP Adrian Sampson (0-2, 4.09) is scheduled to pitch Monday at the Los Angeles Angels and RHP Felix Pena (3-5, 4.20).
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