The Texas Rangers got third baseman Adrian Beltre back Wednesday. And they got the Boston Red Sox back, too.
Beltre, the Rangers' cleanup hitter, left Tuesday's game after getting hit in the helmet with a 92 mph fastball from Boston's Vicente Padilla in the eighth inning. Beltre passed all the protocols to rule out a concussion. He said he did not have a lingering headache from the incident.
"I got up this morning and I felt fine," Beltre said before going 1-for4 in the Rangers' 5-3 win over Boston.
While Padilla leads the major leagues in hit batsmen over the past decade with 107 and has a reputation as the game's pre-eminent "head-hunter," Beltre said he didn't think the pitch was intended to hit him. The pitch was the fourth pitch of an at-bat with the go-ahead run on third base.
"We know his reputation," Beltre said, "but I don't think I have any history with him. I watched the video and the catcher was set up away, so I don't think he tried to hit me."
Nevertheless, the Rangers sent a message that the pitch was unacceptable. With two outs in the first inning Wednesday, lefty Derek Holland plunked Boston cleanup hitter Adrian Gonzalez with a pitch in the buttocks. The rest of the game went on without incident.