Let’s get the not so fun stuff out of the way first…
Derek Holland tossed an unimpressive three innings Monday night. He gave up three earned runs on four hits, two of which were home runs; he also walked two and struck out four. His two home runs were driven by Josh Donaldson (a two run blast in the second inning) and Yoenis Cespedes (a solo blast in the third inning). Roy Oswalt is still alive, still playing with the Rangers and tossed two scoreless innings in relief of Holland. Robbie Ross then came in for the sixth, giving up one run on three hits. Koji Uehara & Mike Adams both tossed scoreless innings to get to the 9th innings. Joe Nathan struck out two in a tense ninth that ended on a much needed strike ‘em out/throw ‘em out play.
The offense again didn’t have the usual spark and flair expected of them, but the return of Josh Hamilton did pay off in a couple of big ways. After Michael Young scored on a Mitch Moreland single in the first, the score stood pat at 3-1 until the bottom of the fifth. Hamilton, coming back from being diagnosed with an ocular condition, launched his forty-third home run of the season. He again leads the majors in home runs. Hamilton wasn’t done helping though.
And now, to the fun stuff…
After Ross came on in the seventh and surrendered one run to make the score 4-2, Adrian Beltre continued to grow his legend in the bottom of the inning. With two out and a recently walked Hamilton on first, Beltre took the first pitch for a ball, fouled off the next two, and then launched the fourth pitch for a two run homer that tied the game 4-4. That would be his thirty-fifth home run of the season. Mr. Beltre was not done though.
Later, after getting a solid top of the ninth from Nathan, it was up to the offense to pull through and win the game. Moreland & Kinsler both singled off of pitcher Tyson Ross to start off the inning. Elvis Andrus sac bunted the runners over, which brought Hamilton to the plate. With Craig Gentry on third (pinch running for Moreland) and Ian Kinsler on second, Hamilton was intentionally walked to get to Beltre. Beltre takes pitch number one for a ball and then drives pitch number two into center field for a walk off single to win the game 5-4.
I personally want to applaud Mr. Beltre for pulling through his abdominal issues and continuing to show up for his team. For those who may not know, he is apparently dealing with issues resulting from scar tissue that developed after an off-season appendectomy. He will have surgery to clear up the tissue this winter, but will have pain to fight through until then. His toughness knows no bounds: in a post game interview with radio man Eric Nadel, he said he felt something tear in his second at bat… he then proceeded to homer and single in at bats three and four. Again, kudos to Adrian.