(The Sports Xchange) - Adrian Beltre hit for his third career cycle to inspire the Texas Rangers to a wild 12-9 victory over the Houston Astros at Globe Life Park on Monday.
Beltre, who completed the cycle with a fifth-inning home run off Mike Fiers, is just the fourth player to have three career cycles and the first to accomplish that feat since Babe Herman managed it in 1933.
The third baseman’s offensive heroics were just part of a contest in which the Rangers batted around twice, chased Houston starter Lance McCullers after one-third of an inning and had 15 hits.
All of the big hitting proved vital, as Houston, which at one point trailed 11-3, got to within three runs in the seventh inning but were ultimately unable to put a damper on Beltre’s night.
“It shouldn’t be difficult because I‘m fast,” the 36-year-old Beltre told reporters of his rapid base running.
“It’s special but when you play for a long time, you have to accumulate some stuff. I didn’t expect to be hitting cycles at this age. I‘m humbled.”
Beltre, who finished 4-for-5, started his run to the cycle with a two-run triple in the first that was part of a six-run surge. He doubled in the second and singled in the third.
He completed the cycle with a homer off Fiers, who was originally slated to start Tuesday’s game, by drilling the first baseball he saw from him in the fifth into the stands in left.
“I didn’t expect a cycle in the first four at-bats,” Texas manager Jeff Banister said. “What an incredible feat for him. He’s a true champion in every sense, a true warrior.”
The Rangers led 6-3 after two innings and then scored five times in the third. However, Texas starter Colby Lewis (12-4) had to hold on as Houston made the game close on a grand slam by catcher Jason Castro in the fourth inning.
Beltre’s homer in the fifth gave the Rangers some insurance and kept Lewis in line for the win.
Lewis allowed seven runs in six innings on a night when the Astros nearly matched the Rangers by collecting 13 hits but the early deficit was too much for Houston to overcome.
“It was disappointing that we lost the game,” Houston manager A.J. Hinch said.
“The silver lining is that we fought back, we battled hard, we played the whole game, competed down to the last out, which I wouldn’t expect anything less from this team.”
Editing by John O'Brien