Adrian Beltre essentially crawled into Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington's office Thursday afternoon, sat doubled over in a chair with stomach cramps and told his skipper he was ready to play.
"That's Adrian Beltre," Washington said. "And when he says something, you believe him."
In case there were any doubt, Beltre delivered a game-winning homer in the ninth inning to lift the Rangers to a 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels.
As soon as the game was done, Beltre started prepping for a battery of invasive gastrointestinal tract tests to determine the cause of the debilitating pain that has bothered him since Sunday and knocked him out of the lineup Wednesday.
Beltre's tests were slated for approximately 10 a.m. PDT on Friday in Southern California. He hopes to catch an early-afternoon flight to Seattle and be with the team in time to play in the opener of a three-game series against the Mariners. If necessary, he'll try and talk his way into the lineup. He's got experience, and his willingness to do so continues to impress his teammates.
"Wow, he is an absolute gamer," said Michael Young, who led off the ninth with a single before Beltre slammed a 2-and-1 hanging slider from Ernesto Frieri into the left field seats. "It's easy to say he's a great player, but he's just an absolute gamer when it comes to doing what he has to do."
"That's not dramatic," said Beltre, who was hitless in his three previous at-bats while serving as the designated hitter. "That's what I'm supposed to do. It was just a chance to redeem myself."
Meanwhile, Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton missed his second consecutive game due to vision issues. He will leave the team Friday to visit with the team doctor in Texas. Hamilton is still operating under the premise that he has some type of sinus infection. He said he simply has not been able to focus well on the ball.