Stay hot, Adrian Beltre!
Just 48 hours after launching three home runs in a 12-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles — including two in the fourth inning alone — the Texas Rangers third baseman remained completely locked in against Minnesota Twins pitching on Friday night, hitting for the cycle in another lopsided 8-0 victory.
According to Elias, Beltre's incredible single games performances — sandwiched around a three-hit game on Thursday — put him in elite company. Before Friday night, only Joltin' Joe DiMaggio back in 1948 had been able to achieve a three-homer game and cycle over a seven-day span.
Looking at more recent history, it's the fourth cycle during the 2012 season, although Beltre is only the third individual player to achieve one. New York Mets outfielder Scott Hairston had the first back on April 27. Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Aaron Hill then became the fourth player in baseball history to hit for two cycles in the same season back on June 18 and June 29 respectively.
Also, it's the sixth cycle ever by a Texas Ranger. Benjie Molina — yes, he once tripled — had the last one on July 16, 2010.
As for Beltre's path to history, it began immediately in the first inning with an RBI triple. Always a good idea to get the most difficult item checked off first. He then turned right around and contributed in the Rangers' five-run second inning, capping the rally with an RBI double that scored Ian Kinsler. In his third at-bat, Beltre connected for a solo home run to push the Rangers advantage to 7-0. All of that damage came at the expense of Twins starter Samuel Deduno.
That left only the single, which Beltre collected in the seventh inning on a sharp groundball into right field against Kyle Waldrop.
Here's a look at the big moment:
Beltre finished the night a perfect 4-for-4 with three knocked in. And if you go back to last Saturday, he's 15 for his 30 with five homers, four doubles and zero strikeouts.
Did I say he was hot this week? I think I meant scorching hot. Just give him the Player of the Week award already and sleep in on Monday.