Buzz: Adrian Beltre gets start at third base

BALTIMORE -- For the first time since April 29, Adrian Beltre will start at third base for the Texas Rangers in the first game of Thursday's doubleheader at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

Beltre, who has been bothered by a strained left hamstring, was at third base for the series finale with the Tampa Bay Rays in Arlington late last month. He was the DH on the turf in Toronto for the first game on April 30 and then didn't start again until Monday in Baltimore. But he's been the DH for the first two games of this series because the club didn't want to take any chances with his hamstring on the wet field.

"I'm excited to be back in there," Beltre said.

Beltre said to continue to expect him to limp around the bases as he protects himself against pushing it too hard with his sore hamstrings. But he isn't feeling pain and his lateral movement is fine. He took ground balls on Monday and manager Ron Washington felt like he saw enough to convince him that Beltre was ready for the field.

"I like to look ugly," Beltre said about how he looks running the bases. "I think I'll keep doing that for a while. I want to be smart and not do something stupid."

Beltre said he'll push it when he feels his hamstring is ready.

Washington said Beltre will be the designated hitter in the second game, but will be at third base when the Rangers and Angels square off starting Friday night at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Other notes:

* Catcher Mike Napoli is not in the lineup for the first game, but is expected to play in the second game. Washington said Napoli will likely catch Yu Darvish in Friday's game.

* Darvish worked out a bit before the doubleheader and has a 4 p.m. flight back to Texas so that he can get a full night of rest before his Friday start.

* The Rangers kept the order of the lineup the same as they planned on Wednesday, meaning Brandon Snyder gets the start at first base.