Beltre returns, but as designated hitter

Beltre returns, but as designated hitter

BALTIMORE -- Adrian Beltre was back in the starting lineup for the first time in six games as the Rangers' designated hitter on Monday night against the Orioles. Beltre has been bothered by a sore left hamstring and had been available only as a pinch-hitter for the past week. He is still not ready to return to the field yet, even though manager Ron Washington said Beltre was moving well on the field in pregame workouts.

"I want to make sure, so we'll start him at DH and then we'll see," Washington said. "The first day back, I want to make sure everything is fine. I want him back on the field as much as anybody, but he's just not ready."

The Rangers, going into Monday, had lost four of their last five games without Beltre in the lineup. He said he will play cautiously until he regains confidence in his physical condition.

"It's good enough to play," Beltre said. "I have to be smart, not try to stretch a single into a double or score on a close play. Just go station-to-station. It's tough, because I'm not good enough to be in the lineup and not bad enough to go on the DL. It's not easy being on the bench."

Brandon Snyder started at third base on Monday because Washington wanted his right-handed bat against Orioles left-hander Brian Matusz. It was Snyder's fifth start this season and his first one at third base. The start also gave Snyder a chance to play against the Orioles, the organization he was a part of for seven seasons before being acquired by the Rangers this past offseason.

"It's obviously a cool situation, but I don't want to put too much into it," said Snyder, who was the Orioles' first-round Draft pick in 2005. "It's another game; I just want to help us get back on track and get another win."