<
>

Adrian Beltre homers in third straight game

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Adrian Beltre lacked the ninth-inning drama supplied by Josh Hamilton a night before, but his two-home run in the Rangers’ 2-0 win over Oakland on Sunday netted the same result -- another Texas victory.

Beltre hammered his 19th home run of the season on a 1-0 pitch with two out in the sixth inning.

It was the third straight game in which Beltre has hit a home run, matching a personal high. He did it twice in 2004.

"I'm trying not to miss my pitch and probably that is what's working,’’ Beltre said. “I'm trying to hit the ball hard somewhere."

Sunday’s blast off Oakland’s Trevor Cahill traveled an estimated 400 feet into the stands in left-center.

On Saturday, Beltre homered to tie the score with Oakland, 5-5, a game the Rangers eventually won 7-6 on Hamilton’s walk-off home run with two out in the ninth.

Cahill in the sixth set down Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus on ground balls before Hamilton drew what appeared an innocent walk.

“I don’t think they were pitching around Josh,’’ said Rangers manager Ron Washington. “I think it was more a case of Josh laying off pitches that he had swung at in earlier at-bats.’’

But the value of a hot power bat behind Hamilton could make a difference in the kind of pitches he sees.

Beltre will start at third base in the All-Star Game after Alex Rodriguez pulled out last week.

"It's going to be a really nice experience,‘’ Beltre said. “I've been there but I've never started before so it's going to be something good for me and hopefully I can enjoy it.’’

When play resumes after the break on Thursday, the Rangers take a seven-game winning streak into a two-city, seven-game road trip against division rivals Seattle and Los Angeles.

Said Beltre: “Hopefully we keep the same momentum when we come back in the second half and try to separate ourselves from the competition."