In the top of the fourth inning, Adrian Beltre drilled a solo home run off Jeremy Hellickson.
Now, in the top of the seventh inning, Adrian Beltre has struck once more. Again leading off, but this time off phenom Matt Moore, and after Derek Holland kept the Rays quiet in the bottom of the sixth.
Moore's first pitch of the inning was a high fastball over the outer half, and Beltre went up and got it, clobbering a towering home run to left to boost the Rangers' lead to 4-2. There was no doubt about it off the bat, which, with Beltre, is so often the case.
The three home runs have been Beltre's first, second, and third of his playoff career, and today also marks the first time Beltre has ever gone deep three times in a game, which is kind of surprising for a guy with more than 300 dingers to his name. This is also just the seventh time in playoff history that a player has slugged three home runs. The others:
Babe Ruth (1926)
Babe Ruth (1928)
Bob Robertson (1971)
Reggie Jackson (1977)
George Brett (1978)
Adam Kennedy (2002)
Hallowed company, in part. Company with Adam Kennedy, in part, too. Based on the Kennedy example, Beltre will still be playing nine years from now, and he will be bad.
Moore worked through the remainder of the seventh without allowing more damage, but the Rays are now down two, and they have nine outs between themselves and elimination.