ARLINGTON – Adrian Beltre hit three home runs and had five RBIs, Mitch Moreland added a grand slam and also had a five-RBI night and the Texas Rangers pounded their way to a 12-3 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday night.
The Rangers maintained a five-game lead in the American League West over Oakland, which beat Minnesota. They have an 8 ½-game lead on the Angels, who defeated the Red Sox.
It was Beltre’s first regular-season three-homer game, and his second career. He went deep three times against the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 4 of last year’s American League Division Series.
The memorable offensive nights for the Rangers recently have come against the Orioles.
Ironically, five years ago tonight, the Rangers had their record-setting 30-3 victory over the Orioles. Earlier this season, Josh Hamilton became the 16th player in history with a four-homer game against the Orioles on May 8.
Beltre opened the second inning with a solo shot off Orioles starter Tommy Hunter. He then drove in the first two runs of what became a nine-run fourth for the Rangers by sending a two-run blast over the left-field fence.
Beltre homered for the second time in the fourth off Orioles reliever Kevin Gregg. Carl Everett is the only other Rangers player with two homers in an inning.
Beltre is the second player this season to go deep twice in an inning, joining the Angels’ Kendrys Morales. Morales homered from both sides of the plate against Texas on July 30 at Rangers Ballpark.
Beltre now has 22 home runs, and joined the 20-homer club for the 10th time in his career. He’s the ninth third baseman in MLB history to do that.
Beltre had a chance at four homers twice, but couldn’t reach the feat. He grounded out to end the sixth, and grounded into a double play to end the eighth.
Beltre wasn’t the lone offensive star, either.
Moreland belted his first official grand slam in the nine-run fourth. Moreland had a grand slam wiped out against Oakland on May 11, 2011 because the game was postponed because of rain.
Rangers starter Derek Holland earned the victory, allowing three runs on five hits with two walks and five strikeouts over seven innings. He is now 8-6 with a 4.92 ERA.-- Drew Davison