Beltre close to resuming full-time duties

Beltre close to resuming full-time duties

CLEVELAND -- Third baseman Adrian Beltre was out of the lineup on Saturday for a fourth straight game with a strained left hamstring. He did do some sprinting in the outfield before the game against the Indians, and took ground balls at third base while manager Ron Washington watched.

Beltre entered Saturday's game as a pinch-hitter and belted a go-ahead three-run homer in the 11th inning to help the Rangers even the series with a 5-2 win.

"I certainly liked what I saw," Washington said before the game. "He's getting there. If he's not in there [Sunday], I'm hoping for Monday. The good thing is Adrian is pacing himself. I don't have to fight him on this. He's managing it. I just want him to feel confident he's getting there."

Beltre did pinch-hit for third baseman Alberto Gonzalez in the ninth inning of Friday's 6-3 loss to the Indians and flied out to end the game. Washington said that if Beltre had reached base or the game had continued, Brandon Snyder would have gone in to play third base.

Gonzalez was back at third base on Saturday. It was his fourth start at the position while Michael Young has started there five times. Beltre has made 18 starts at third base, two at designated hitter and has been out of the lineup for seven games. Going into Saturday, the Rangers were 1-5 in the six games that Beltre has not been in the lineup.

"That makes it tough, and gives me more itch to get back out there," Beltre said. "But we're taking it cautiously. Maybe tomorrow or the next day."