Adrian Beltre wears a black cowboy hat on picture day 2012.
Adrian Beltre obviously made a lot of noise on Saturday night when he hit a pinch-hit, three-run homer to dead center to lift the Texas Rangers to a 5-2 win in 11 innings.
But on Monday night, Beltre made his return to the starting lineup for the first time this month since tweaking his hamstring in Toronto back on April 30. It was a blessing for the Rangers that he never hit the disabled list but he was still basically shelved for a week, appearing only as a pinch-hitter.
Beltre's absence was felt everywhere — in the field and at the plate.
He returned on Monday night to go 1-for-4 at the plate with a gingerly run double and a walk. He said before the game that he would be taking it easy on the hamstring, and it was evident he did with mostly station-to-station base running (with the exception of the double).
Though he didn't have a huge game at the plate, his presence clearly was missed as the Rangers scored 14 runs against the gasless Orioles pitching staff. But the Rangers will tread carefully with Beltre, keeping him as the team's designated hitter until those legs are 100 percent.