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Beltre Goes Big in Return

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP

    After spending more than a month on the disabled list and watching as Nelson Cruz joined him, the Texas Rangers were in desperate need of a spark to the lineup.

    And if Thursday is any indication, Adrian Beltre will provide just that.

    The numbers don't speak very loudly: 1-4 with a run scored.

    But if you watched the game there were encouraging signs from Beltre, who batted fifth in the lineup.

    First off, Beltre kick-started the Rangers' three-run second inning when he hit a one-out single and then scored on a deep double off the bat of David Murphy. Beltre ran the bases gingerly, just as he was asked to do by Ron Washington to preserve his hamstring.

    So he's listening, that's a good thing.

    Then later on in the game, Beltre was robbed by a great play in right field by Matt Joyce when he hit an opposite-field rocket that Joyce pulled back into the park after it looked like it would leave the yard.

    The power is there, and that's another good thing.

    With Cruz not scheduled to return to the lineup until mid-September, it'll be a while before the lineup is back to full strength, but Rangers fans could rest a little easier on Thursday night, and thanks to Beltre for that.