ARLINGTON, Texas -- Adrian Beltre wasn't going to take any more chances. As he warmed up in the on-deck circle in the bottom of the eighth, Josh Hamilton let go of his bat after missing a pitch and sent it flying directly over Beltre's head and into the net behind him.
Beltre immediately walked back to the Rangers' dugout and started swinging and loosening up under the safety of the roof.
"I told him that he's getting closer and closer every day," Beltre said, smiling. "I think maybe for now I'm going to stand in the dugout and wait until he finishes the at-bat and then come out. That way I can be safe."
Hamilton saw Beltre head back to the dugout and laughed.
"It was awesome," Hamilton said. "I keep throwing the bat at him. I don't blame him for going back to the dugout."
Beltre said he's always aware that Hamilton's bat could come his way. And it has a few times this season already.
"I'm kind of expecting it," Beltre said. "He doesn't do it every day, but there's going to be one of those days when maybe I'm not expecting it and I relax and it might hit me somewhere. I might move farther back or stay in the dugout."
Hamilton said the pine tar he puts on his bat isn't holding as well in the heat. He isn't sure what he can do about it.
"The hotter it gets, the more it can happen," Hamilton said. "I may try to start doing what [Mike] Napoli does. He takes it and puts it in the air conditioning to keep it hardened. I may try that."