Adrian Beltre heats up on road trip

NEW YORK – Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre felt like he was close all season to the kind of game he had Sunday.

Beltre was 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBIs in the Rangers’ 6-5 loss to the Yankees. It was Beltre’s first three-hit effort of the season and the culmination of a steady road trip that has helped bring his average up to .250 after a low of .107.

In the nine-game swing through Baltimore, Detroit and New York, Beltre was 12-for-36 (.333) with three homers, four doubles, nine RBIs and six runs scored. He has now hit safely in eight consecutive games.

Beltre came into Sunday’s game just 3-for-22 with seven strikeouts off Yankee starter CC Sabathia.

“I knew it wasn’t good,” Beltre said. “Every day is a new game. He’s got my number, but that doesn’t mean I can’t hit him. [Sunday] was one of those days. I make sure I get a good pitch to hit and hit it. That’s what I did.”

Beltre and Michael Young, who was also 3-for-4 on Sunday, were in the minority when it came to a productive offensive road trip. Texas hit just .241 as a team and scored 37 runs in nine games, an average of 4.1 per game. The injury to Josh Hamilton didn’t help those numbers as the 2010 AL MVP was heating up, going 7-for-17 on the trip before suffering a small fracture in a bone in his upper arm that could sideline him up to two months.

The Rangers hope Beltre and Young (15-for 35 on the trip) can continue to swing the bats well and that their teammates can pick things up during this upcoming 10-game homestand, tied for the longest of the season.