Beltran goes deep for 2,500th career hit

Outfielder just 4th Puerto-Rican born player to reach milestone

Beltran goes deep for 2,500th career hit

ST. PETERSBURG -- Carlos Beltran homered for his 2,500th career hit in Saturday's 9-5 loss to the Rays, joining Roberto Clemente, Ivan Rodriguez and Roberto Alomar as just the fourth Puerto Rican-born player to reach the milestone.

Beltran reached the mark with a solo blast leading off the fourth inning against Rays left-hander Matt Moore. He went 1-for-3 in the loss before exiting in the sixth inning with tightness under his right scapula.

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"It means a lot, and I think it's a great accomplishment, but right now we're trying to win ballgames," Beltran said. "That's the main focus. I thank God that he's allowed me to play this game for a long time and I've been able to accomplish good things, but it would have been greater if we would have won this one."

Beltran, 39, said that he felt the tightness during his third at-bat, but that he could have stayed in the game.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he wanted Beltran to have treatment, and he was not certain if he would be available for Sunday's series finale. If Beltran does play, it will be as the designated hitter.

"It was a check swing, and I felt like I got tight," Beltran said. "It's one of those things when you play baseball, things like that sometimes are going to happen."

Beltran is the 99th player all time to reach 2,500 hits. He joined Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds and Willie Mays as the only players with 2,500 hits, 400 homers, 300 stolen bases and 1,000 walks.

"Congratulations to him," Girardi said. "I believe he's a Hall of Famer, and he's meant a lot to this team and to this organization and to the game of baseball. I think he's meant so much to baseball because of his willingness to give back to communities and young players and what he does in Puerto Rico."

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.