Beltre makes Rox pay for free pass to Beltran

Beltre makes Rox pay for free pass to Beltran

ARLINGTON -- Rockies manager Walt Weiss had to play "pick your poison" on Wednesday night against the Rangers when he found himself having to choose between pitching to Carlos Beltran or Adrian Beltre in trying to hold a one-run lead in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Weiss picked Beltre, and it proved to be poisonous, as Beltre lined a two-run single to give the Rangers a 5-4 victory over the Rockies at Globe Life Park. It was the Rangers' third straight comeback victory over the Rockies after trailing at some point in the eighth inning or later.

"It's a great energy, but at the same time, you would love to win clean games," Beltran said. "I can't imagine how the opposing team feels after losing three days in a row like that. It's tough on anyone. The fact that it's worked out for us, we're happy about that."

The Rockies led, 4-3, going into the eighth with left-hander Boone Logan on the mound. Logan struck out Elvis Andrus to start the inning before two left-handed hitters reached base. Mitch Moreland did so when first baseman Mark Reynolds let his grounder get past him for an error, and Shin-Soo Choo was hit by a pitch.

Ian Desmond followed with a grounder to first that moved both runners up. Then, with two outs and first base open, the Rangers had Beltran at the plate and Beltre on deck.

"Any time you have two future Hall of Fame-type guys, it's a deadly combination," said catcher Jonathan Lucroy, summing up Weiss' dilemma.

Weiss had right-handed closer Adam Ottavino ready in the bullpen, so he decided to walk Beltran and go with a righty-righty matchup against Beltre.

Beltre called it a "no-brainer."

"Carlos is in front of me, and he's a [switch-hitter]; it makes sense," Beltre said. "Obviously, I like being in that situation."

Obviously. Beltre's leadoff single in the ninth inning on Monday night started a three-run game-winning rally, and he hit a game-tying two-run double in the eighth inning on Tuesday.

This time he smashed one past shortstop Cristhian Adames for the hit that put the Rangers ahead.

"Heck, I wish it wasn't Beltre," Weiss said. "But I'd take [Ottavino] against just about any right-handed hitter in the league. He's one of the best right-handed relievers against right-handed hitters in the National League. At that point I feel like that's our best shot."

Right-handed hitters were batting .115 off Ottavino going into the game.

"A slider, poorly executed," Ottavino said. "I wanted it. I wanted a matchup, and I got beat. I threw a decent [slider] first pitch, and the second one, I wanted to throw it a little more outside than I did. But I didn't, and he took advantage."

Beltre made a little history with the two RBIs, as he now has 1,537 in his career, tying him with Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio for 47th all-time.

"I think he's getting younger," Moreland said. "He never ceases to amaze. He has been special. To watch him over time, it has been unbelievable. He steps up. It seems like every time he gets in those situations, he comes through. He's our leader, on and off the field."

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for since 2006. 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.