HOUSTON, TX - MAY 12: Adrian Beltre #29 of the Texas Rangers hits a two-run home run in the third inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on May 12, 2014 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Adrian Beltre just kept on truckin' on Thursday night, on a night that not much else went right and Ron Washington felt compelled to call a closed-door meeting to give his team a tongue-lashing.
In the postgame press conference, Washington did make a point to say he pointed toward Beltre when telling several of the team's young players what they needed to model themselves after, and it's pretty easy to see why.
In the first inning on Thursday, Beltre extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a single, then later added a home run to right field and another single. His three hits pushed him past Houston second baseman Jose Altuve for the American League leader in hitting with a .341 batting average.
All of this coming at a time when we thought Beltre's career was starting a depressing decline. But ever since coming off the disabled list and seeing his batting average dip to a season-low .224, Beltre has been on fire.
Since May 4, Beltre is batting .369 with all 13 of his home runs, and since June 1, he's really taken off, batting .394 with eight homers and 30 of his 50 RBIs this season.
This recent tear, depending on how you look at it, should prevent the Rangers from having any thought of trading Beltre before the July 31 trade deadline, unless the return was just insane. The guy has proven he can still carry a team at age 35, and he's without a doubt the leader of the clubhouse, which is currently full of young players who could learn a lot from Beltre.