Over the past two Septembers, Adrian Beltre has carried the Texas Rangers' offense down the stretch and has without a doubt been the team's MVP this season.
But recently, Beltre has been in a serious power funk and just hasn't been hitting with runners in scoring position when the Rangers need him most. He is probably trying to press too much, which could be part of the reason but he's still the Rangers' team leader in home runs even though he hadn't homered since Aug. 28.
That is, until Tuesday night.
Beltre's solo shot to left field in the bottom of the sixth inning of a 2-2 game as the Rangers held on to a 3-2 win. The Rangers are now 24-3 when Beltre homers in a game. The Rangers hope it's a sign of things to come in the short term and that Beltre has snapped out of his power funk.
"Apparently, I found out a way today," Beltre told ESPNDallas.com. "It’s been a long time. It felt good. It felt really good. I haven’t had that feeling in a long time."
It had also been a long time since his teammates go to torment Beltre by rubbing his head — something he absolutely hates and will fight with his fists in the heat of the moment. His teammates gave him the age-old baseball reception of the "silent treatment" after he entered the dugout, but they took it to another level, pretending to sleep.
"I can’t blame them," Beltre said. "It’s been a long time, but hopefully that’ll be the beginning of a couple this week. Not because I hit a homer, but because it was a good spot to hit it to give our ballclub the lead, and that’s what I want."
The Rangers certainly hope Beltre is ready to put the team on his shoulders again. There's no room for error now as the Rangers are in a position where they can probably lose one game for the remainder of the season, at the most. But Beltre's done it before.