<
>

Adrian Beltre starting again for Texas

BALTIMORE -- Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre was back in the starting lineup Monday for the first time in a week after dealing with a strained left hamstring.

Beltre, 33, hit fourth as the designated hitter and finished 1-for-4 with a double, a walk and a run scored in the Rangers' 14-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards.

It was his first start since last Monday, when he started the first game of a three-game series in Toronto and left late in the game. The club has carefully monitored the hamstring, but two MRI exams have shown no structural damage.

Beltre strained the hamstring on Saturday, April 21, in Detroit, but returned to the lineup three days later against the New York Yankees. But after last Monday's game in Toronto, the Rangers decided to give Beltre's hamstring a break.

He's still managed to make an impact, though. He hit a pinch-hit three-run homer Saturday to break a 2-2 tie in the 11th and help the Rangers end a three-game losing streak.

Beltre is a key cog in the Rangers' offense. The club is 1-3 in games without him in the lineup at all and 1-3 in games where he's had just one at-bat or fewer -- with that one win coming on his home run on Saturday. He was hitting .318 with five homers and 16 RBIs in 24 games played coming into play Monday.