Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre has been named the American League Player of the Week for the period ending August 26th. This is Adrian’s third career Player of the Week honor and his first in the A.L. (last accomplished for the week ending June 27, 2004 with the Los Angeles Dodgers).
Beltre batted .433 (13-for-30) with three doubles, one triple, five home runs, nine RBI and seven runs scored in seven games. Among Major League leaders, the 33-year-old was tops in slugging percentage (1.100) and total bases (33), tied for first in hits and home runs and tied for second in RBI. Beltre was also tied for second in the A.L. in doubles and runs scored.
In Wednesday’s rubber match against the Baltimore Orioles at Rangers Ballpark, the Dominican Republic native put on an impressive power display en route to a 12-3 Rangers victory, launching three home runs in his first three at-bats, including a pair of two-run blasts in a nine-run fourth inning. It marked his first multi-homer game of the season and the 24th of his 15-year career (including the Postseason). The three-homer outing was the first of Beltre’s career during the regular season after accomplishing the feat in a 4-3 Rangers triumph in the decisive Game 4 of last year’s American League Division Series against the Tampa Bay Rays. Beltre joined Carl Everett (July 26, 2002) as the only Rangers to homer twice in a single frame. On Thursday, Beltre went 3-for-5, including a double, a homer and two runs scored as the Rangers defeated the Minnesota Twins, 10-6, in Arlington. It marked the first time this season that the right-handed slugger homered in back-to-back games. In Friday’s tilt with the Twins, Beltre became the sixth Ranger to hit for the cycle as he and fellow 2012 A.L. All-Star Matt Harrison led Texas to an 8-0 shutout of Baltimore. Beltre, who finished 4-for-4 with three RBI in the win, tripled in the first, doubled in the second, homered in the fifth and singled in the seventh to become just the second player in MLB history to have a three-homer game and a cycle in the same week, joining Joe DiMaggio in 1948 (Elias Sports Bureau). It was Beltre’s second career cycle, last doing so with the Seattle Mariners on September 1, 2008 against the Rangers in Arlington. According to Elias, he is the first player in the modern era (since 1900) to cycle in the same ballpark both as a home and visiting player.
Other noteworthy performances last week included Beltre’s Ranger teammates Ian Kinsler (.407, 2 HR, 9 RBI) and Mitch Moreland (.360, 2 HR, 10 RBI); Tampa Bay Rays starter Alex Cobb (4 H, 2 BB, 8 SO in first career shutout on August 23rd againstOakland); and Chicago White Sox hurler Chris Sale (1-0, 7.2 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 13 SO in 2-1 win over the Yankees on August 22nd).