Beltre, young sluggers homer as Rangers beat Twins 7-4
By SCHUYLER DIXON
AP Sports Writer
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Adrian Beltre will play as often as his troublesome hamstring will let him in the final month of his 21st and possibly final season.
And it will all be with the last-place Texas Rangers.
Beltre hit his 470th career homer after 23-year-old sluggers Nomar Mazara and Ronald Guzman went deep, helping the Rangers stop a five-game losing streak with a 7-4 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Saturday night.
The 39-year-old Beltre was still with his team of the past eight seasons when the deadline passed for him to go to a contender and be eligible for the playoffs. That was good news to Texas manager Jeff Banister when the calendar turned to September.
“He’ll get as many opportunities to play for the rest of the year that he’s capable and healthy enough to go get,” Banister said before the game. “I think he deserves that. I think our players deserve that. I think our fans deserve that.
“I thought somebody might take a shot at him. Woke up this morning and happy that he’s still with us.”
Beltre’s homer leading off the fourth was the four-time All-Star’s eighth of the season and hit No. 3,143 for his career, breaking a tie with Robin Yount for 17th on the career list.
If he can avoid further issues with a left hamstring that sent him to the disabled list twice this season, Beltre has a shot at catching George Brett to get into the top 15 all-time in hits. Brett had 3,154.
Mazara led off the second inning with his 18th home run and second in as many nights, matching his total from the previous 42 games. Guzman’s 13th homer was a three-run shot that capped a four-run second to put the Rangers ahead for good at 4-2.
Texas’ fourth homer was the 18th of the season for Rougned Odor, a solo drive in the seventh.
Yovani Gallardo (8-3) ended a streak of three winless starts, giving up six hits and three runs in five innings. Jose Leclerc struck out two in a perfect ninth for his eighth save in 12 opportunities.
Jake Cave homered for the second straight game for the Twins — the rookie’s ninth of the year — and doubled and scored twice. Logan Forsythe had three hits and an RBI.
Jose Berrios (11-10) struck out six in four innings, but all three hits he allowed were homers. He gave up five runs. The right-hander hasn’t won since Aug. 4.
“As a competitor, nobody wants to finish the season the way my few games have been,” Berrios said through a translator. “Let’s just keep looking forward and get ready for the next game.”
The Twins added catcher Chris Gimenez, outfielder Johnny Field and pitchers Andrew Vasquez and Tyler Duffey from Triple-A Rochester for the Sept. 1 roster expansion. … The Rangers added lefty reliever Zac Curtis, who was claimed on waivers from Philadelphia in August.
The 24-year-old Vasquez had a shaky big league debut with two errors that helped the Rangers score an unearned run in the fifth. He dropped a throw trying to cover first base on a grounder by Shin-Soo Choo, and an errant pickoff attempt allowed Choo to score from third.
Rangers right-hander Connor Sadzeck’s first three pitches in the majors were 99-mph fastballs, and then he struck out Mitch Garver swinging on a 79-mph curveball with two runners on to end the sixth. The 26-year-old has appeared in 155 games in the minors since 2012.
Twins: Right-handed reliever Matt Belisle (right knee injury) was activated from the disabled list.
Rangers: Right-hander Bartolo Colon (lower back strain) and outfielder Delino DeShields (fractured right middle finger) were activated from the 10-day disabled list. Colon, however, won’t start Sunday as Banister had indicated. Banister said the 45-year-old in his 21st season was dealing with an illness. … Left-handed reliever Zac Curtis was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock.
The Twins plan to use lefty reliever Gabriel Moya (3-0, 4.73 ERA) as the starter in the series finale. Manager Paul Molitor said Zack Littell, who has been with Triple-A Rochester since early July, likely will be used as the next pitcher. It would be the 23-year-old Moya’s first career start after 31 relief appearances over two seasons. Rangers LHP Yohander Mendez (0-1, 14.73) is set for his second career start after getting sent to the minors for violating team rules in June.