Beltre plays on despite hamstring pain

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- There was no way a sore hamstring was going to keep Red Sox third baseman Adrian Beltre out of tonight’s lineup.

Beltre tweaked his hamstring in the top of the eighth inning on Saturday while legging out an infield hit, but he remained in the game and he’s back in the lineup again tonight.

“He’s sore,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. “I actually told him, ‘Hey, if it bothers you, we’ll take you out.’ He didn’t seem worried about it. He was back there stretching and didn’t look too bad.”

With the Red Sox trying to stay in contention for a playoff spot, Beltre isn’t about to let anything interfere with his goal of helping Boston reach the postseason.

“I wasn’t coming out of that game,” Beltre said of Saturday’s game. “I’m stubborn and I know sometimes I can go overboard, but unless [my hamstring] blows up I’m going to play.”

Beltre is having a tremendous season and enters Sunday’s game with a .342 average, 23 homers and 88 RBIs. He’s hitting .310 with 10 homers and 33 RBIs since the All-Star break.

“We know how important these games are for us, and for me to be sitting on the bench when there’s a slight chance I can play, it’s hard for me to sit and that’s why I’m not doing it,” Beltre said. “We already have enough guys missing, so I don’t think we need to add anybody else to that list. I’m going to do my best to stay in there.”