The day after pinch hitting, Adrian Beltre returned to the Texas Rangers' lineup Thursday as their designated hitter despite lingering hamstring issues (video by Jeff Wilson). jwilson@star-telegram.com
The day after pinch hitting, Adrian Beltre returned to the Texas Rangers' lineup Thursday as their designated hitter despite lingering hamstring issues (video by Jeff Wilson). jwilson@star-telegram.com

Texas Rangers

Beltre: Rangers teammates playing hurt, ‘so why can’t I?’

September 14, 2017 6:19 PM

ARLINGTON

Adrian Beltre was risking further injury to his left hamstring Thursday by insisting that he be put in the Texas Rangers’ starting lineup as their designated hitter, and everyone with the Rangers knows there is a risk that he could make things worse.

But things aren’t getting any better for the Rangers without him. He knows that, and everyone else knows that.

Besides, what’s he really risking?

He could very well aggravate the Grade 2 strain at some point over the final 17 games and miss the rest of the season — which is how long the Rangers were expecting him to be out when he was injured Aug. 31.

If the muscle is to give out, well, so be it. If not, the Rangers have 17 games of a one-legged Beltre to see if he can push them into the postseason.

If it feels desperate, that’s because it is, and that’s what the Rangers are with games rapidly ticking away.

The return of Beltre, who went 1-for-3, did little to spark the offense. The Rangers were limited to only three hits in the first six innings Thursday as the Seattle Mariners beat them for a third straight night, this time 10-4.

Rougned Odor connected for a three-run homer in the seventh after the Mariners had taken a 10-1 lead.

Kyle Seager swatted a two-run homer off Andrew Cashner for the Mariners.

The loss knocked the Rangers two games under .500 and five games out of the second wild card with 16 games remaining.

“In this clubhouse we know that we need to play with a sense of urgency because we know there’s — what? — three weeks left,” Beltre said. “There’s a lot of teams right there in the hunt. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s doable.

“We need to find a way to play better, and there’s no tomorrow here.”

The Rangers have three games this weekend at the Los Angeles Angels, another team ahead of them, before playing the Mariners three times next week at Safeco Field. Believe it or not, there was still an opportunity for the Rangers to improve their place in the standings.

Beltre aimed to help them accomplish that, though he admitted that he is unable to play third base and must be careful when running the bases. He appeared as a pinch hitter Wednesday, popping up to shallow center field, but remains a threat even at far less than 100 percent.

So does Mike Napoli, who returned to the lineup despite having a stress reaction in his right ankle; Odor, who has logged four straight starts since twisting his left ankle; and Robinson Chirinos, who caught a fifth straight game despite an issue with his left hamstring.

Nomar Mazara’s left quadriceps muscle tightened up Wednesday, so the Rangers held him out. Had he been good to go, he would have been the starter in left field.

“A lot of my teammates are playing with injuries, so why can’t I?” said Beltre, who is batting .314 with 16 homers and 66 RBI in only 81 games after missing the first 51 games of the season with a calf injury.

The Rangers might have better options than Napoli (.194) and Odor (.211), but manager Jeff Banister said that the veterans who have been a part of the Rangers’ 2017 season, all season, carry some weight in his decision-making when they say they are healthy enough to play.

Napoli, a playoff regular throughout his career, and Odor add value as power threats.

“They’ve been with us all year long,” Banister said. “They’ve been key participants in all of this. They’re the ones that decided they needed to be in, and I honor that. They want to be part of this.”

Beltre’s return doesn’t come as a surprise to his teammates. The Rangers were told that the typical recovery time from an injury like Beltre’s is four to six weeks, but the doctor also told them he wouldn’t be surprised if Beltre was back in two to three weeks.

He has pulled the quick-return act before, like in 2015 when he returned after only two weeks missed after suffering a thumb injury that would require postseason surgery. He sprained his left ankle in June, but missed three games.

“I don’t know how he does it, but, yeah, he’s back in the lineup,” shortstop Elvis Andrus said. “You get used to it. They’ll say he’s going to be out five months, and he’s back in two weeks. He’s done it before. I was hoping he would do it again.”

Seattle

020

034

100

10

11

0

Texas

010

000

300

4

6

0

Seattle AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Segura ss

6

1

1

0

0

0

.295

Haniger rf

5

1

0

0

1

2

.278

Cano 2b

4

1

0

0

1

0

.281

Beckham 2b

1

0

0

0

0

0

.000

Cruz dh

4

4

4

2

0

0

.289

Seager 3b

4

3

2

3

1

1

.257

Motter 3b

0

0

0

0

0

0

.199

Alonso 1b

4

0

3

3

1

0

.269

Zunino c

2

0

1

1

2

0

.248

Marjama ph-c

1

0

0

0

0

0

.000

Gamel lf

4

0

0

1

1

1

.276

Heredia cf

2

0

0

0

2

0

.256

Hannemann cf

1

0

0

0

0

1

.000

Totals 38

10

11

10

9

5

Texas AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Middlebrooks ph

1

0

0

0

0

0

.176

Griffin p

0

0

0

0

0

0

.000

DeShields cf

4

0

0

0

0

2

.278

Choo rf

3

0

0

0

0

1

.263

Hoying rf

1

0

1

0

0

0

.209

Andrus ss

3

0

0

0

0

0

.302

Gosselin ss-2b

1

0

0

0

0

0

.136

Beltre dh

3

0

1

0

0

0

.314

Robinson pr-dh-ss

1

1

0

0

0

1

.222

Gallo 3b

3

2

2

0

0

1

.209

Chirinos c

2

0

1

0

0

0

.271

Jimenez c

2

0

0

0

0

1

.200

Odor 2b

2

1

1

4

0

0

.213

Napoli 1b

2

0

0

0

0

2

.193

Rua 1b

1

0

0

0

1

1

.220

Calhoun lf

3

0

0

0

0

0

.111

Totals 32

4

6

4

1

9

LOB—Seattle 11, Texas 4. 2B—Cruz 2 (27), Alonso (22), Gallo (17), Chirinos (13). HR—Seager (25), off Cashner; Cruz (33), off Griffin; Odor (29), off Albers. RBIs—Cruz 2 (109), Seager 3 (82), Alonso 3 (63), Zunino (59), Gamel (53), Odor 4 (70). SB—Segura (21), Alonso (2), Zunino (1). SF—Odor. Runners left in scoring position—Seattle 7 (Segura 4, Seager, Heredia 2); Texas 2 (Chirinos, Napoli). RISP—Seattle 5 for 16; Texas 1 for 4. Runners moved up—Zunino, Cano.

Seattle

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

Hernandez

3 2/3

3

1

1

0

3

54

4.19

Garton

 1/3

0

0

0

0

0

6

6.43

Albers, W, 5-1

5

3

3

3

1

6

84

3.09

Texas

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

Cashner, L, 9-10

4 1/3

6

5

5

5

2

93

3.40

Mendez

 1/3

0

0

0

0

0

5

3.38

Gardewine

 1/3

1

2

2

1

0

20

5.40

Kela

 1/3

2

2

2

1

0

18

2.86

Bibens-Dirkx

 2/3

1

0

0

1

0

18

4.80

Griffin

3

1

1

1

1

3

37

5.40

Gardewine pitched to 2 batters in the 6th. Inherited runners-scored—Garton 1-0, Mendez 2-0, Gardewine 2-0, Kela 2-2, Bibens-Dirkx 3-2. HBP—Cashner (Cruz), Albers (Gallo). WP—Cashner. Umpires—Home, Stu Scheurwater; First, Laz Diaz; Second, Jeff Nelson; Third, Vic Carapazza. T—3:21. A—21,931 (48,114).

Rangers at Angels

9 p.m. Friday, FSSW

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