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E. Beltre hopes to impress Rangers with bat

E. Beltre hopes to impress Rangers with bat

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E. Beltre hopes to impress Rangers with bat

CLEVELAND -- The Rangers are desperately looking for more offensive firepower. Engel Beltre wants to show that it could be him providing it.

"Me personally, I think I'm doing good here," Beltre said. "When I get the opportunity, I'm trying to take advantage of it and try and help the team."

Beltre was in the Rangers' lineup on Friday night against the Indians. He was also batting in the No. 2 spot because manager Ron Washington wanted his left-handed bat breaking up the right-handed hitters (Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz) at the top of the lineup. It also kept the bottom of the lineup from being excessively left-handed.

It was Beltre's second start in the last two weeks. He also went into the game with six hits in 19 at-bats since being called up from Triple-A Round Rock.

"He's serviceable ... he's a good player," Washington said. "We trust him. He has been handling himself well. He's played a lot of baseball. When he hasn't played for awhile, he's still able to go out there and do something. That's because he's young but he's played a lot of baseball."

Beltre is here because Lance Berkman is still on the disabled list and not ready to return anytime soon. Berkman, who has inflammation in his left hip and back, did not even make the trip to Cleveland. He remained behind in Arlington to get treatment at Dr. Keith Meister's clinic.

So Beltre is still here, unless the Rangers are able to swing a trade for an outfielder before Wednesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline. They continue to pursue White Sox outfielder Alex Rios while monitoring the Giants' situation with Hunter Pence. They have not shown any interest in bringing back Mets outfielder Marlon Byrd.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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