Beltre not in Game 3 lineup; Alberto starts

Beltre not in Game 3 lineup; Alberto starts

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers are still without third baseman Adrian Beltre in their starting lineup, as he remains sidelined with a strained lower back. Hanser Alberto is batting ninth and starting at third base for the Rangers in tonight's Game 3 of the American League Division Series. The Rangers have a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series.

"Beltre has shown a lot of improvement, and he is still getting worked on," manager Jeff Banister said.

Beltre injured his back trying to break up a double play in Texas' 5-3 win in Thursday's Game 1 and left the game in the third inning. Alberto has been playing third base in his stead and had the game-winning single in Texas' 6-4 victory in 14 innings on Friday night.

Game Date Result
Gm 1 Oct. 8 TEX 5, TOR 3
Gm 2 Oct. 9 TEX 6, TOR 4
Gm 3 Oct. 11 TOR 5, TEX 1
Gm 4 Oct. 12 TOR 8, TEX 4
Gm 5 Oct. 14 TOR 6, TEX 3

"Alberto has always been a shortstop and only played a little third base, but he is a quick learner," Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus said. "To be able to play third base the way he has, it has been huge for us."

Both teams are without a key player. Toronto lost left-handed reliever Brett Cecil in Game 2 when he tore his left calf muscle. But Banister said the Blue Jays remain a dangerous team.

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"That's a really good ballclub over there," Banister said. "A talented ballclub. They did some significant things this year. Our ballclub has to go out and play well, stay focused and not look up. In my mind, it is 0-0. If you want to go where you want to go, you have to stay focused and determined. It's not who they don't have, it is who they do have."

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