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August 22, 2012

Wrapping up Rangers' 12-3 victory over Orioles

Adrian Beltre went deep three times for the first time in a regular-season game, and the second time in his career. He also had three blasts against the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 4 of last year's American League Division Series.

Beltre hit home runs in his first three at-bats, including two in a nine-run fourth inning. He had two more chances to belt his fourth of the game, but grounded out each time.

"Monster game," Michael Young said. "Obviously we were all pulling for him in the fourth and fifth at-bat. Just a great individual performance. AB is a great player."

Beltre joins Albert Pujols, George Brett, Reggie Jackson and Babe Ruth as the only players with three-homer games in the regular and postseason.

He also joined the 20-homer club for the 10th time in his career. He's the ninth third baseman in MLB history to do that.

"It was a lot of fun," Beltre said. "Finally, I got a good game offensively. I've been kind of struggling for a couple weeks. Today was a good day. I hit the ball hard in the air."

As far as the two homers in the same inning, Beltre said: "I didn’t know I had two in one inning. It’s kind of cool. It’s the best inning of my life, probably."

Here are a few other postgame notes:

* Mitch Moreland hit his first official grand slam in the nine-run fourth, turning a 4-1 lead into an 8-1 lead. He had a grand slam wiped out last season because the game was postponed because of rain. "That's the first thing all my teammates said in the dugout, 'There's a rain cloud coming,'" Moreland said. "Messing around with me. It worked out tonight."

* Beltre and Moreland each had four RBIs in the fourth inning. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it's the first time in Washington/Texas history for multiple players to have four or more RBIs in an inning. The last time it happened in the major leagues was July 3, 2010, when the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez and Brett Gardner each had four in the third inning against the Blue Jays.

* Derek Holland pitched well, allowing three runs on five hits with two walks and five strikeouts over seven innings. He has gone 1-0 with a 3.54 ERA in his last three starts, and did not allow a home run after giving them up in his previous six starts. "I definitely feel like I'm in a groove," Holland said. "If I keep making my pitches, the defense is going to make the plays."

* David Murphy went 3-for-3 with a double, walk, RBI and two runs scored. It was his third three-hit game in his last seven.

* The Rangers won the three-game series against the Orioles, 2-1. They are now 9-1-1 in their last 11 home series.

-- Drew Davison


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