ARLINGTON, Texas – When Ron Washington discusses Adrian Beltre's performance at third base, it’s usually with awe.
Not Monday night.
“Unfortunate that the guy who made the mistake is one who don’t make many,” Washington said after Beltre’s error was a critical play in the Rangers’ 3-1 loss to the Royals. “But in the game of baseball, that happens.”
And, in the game of baseball, first-place teams occasionally lose to bottom-feeders. In this case, the result was directly related to a rare fielding faux pas by the three-time Gold Glove third baseman.
Scott Feldman appeared to finish up an outstanding spot start by getting Kansas City’s Chris Getz to hit a grounder to Beltre for what would have been the third out of the fifth inning. Beltre’s throw pulled first baseman Michael Young off the bag, cracking the door for the Royals to get some damage done against Feldman.
“It’s bad that he could have lost when he pitched so well,” Beltre said. “It’s all on me today.”
Well, it didn’t help that the only damage the Texas bats inflicted on Royals starter Bruce Chen and the Kansas City bullpen was a 416-foot blast into the club level off of Nelson Cruz’s bat. But Beltre’s point that his errant throw was the critical play in the game is accurate.
Beltre was playing third base for only the third time this month, but he said his tender hamstring had no impact on the play. His mistake, Beltre said, was not getting a better grip on the ball.
“I don’t know how much time I had, because I knew it was a fast guy,” Beltre said. “But he didn’t hit the ball soft, so maybe I had time. I should have taken the time, got a four-seam (grip) and made a good throw. That was big. It would have been a huge difference in the game.”