Beltran breaks out of slump vs. Mariners

Beltran breaks out of slump vs. Mariners

ARLINGTON -- Rangers manager Jeff Banister was far from pushing the panic button when designated hitter Carlos Beltran endured the worst hitless drought of his career over the last 10 days -- and for good reason. By the time Beltran was acquired by the Rangers on Aug. 1, he had 22 homers and an .890 OPS.

Beltran was among those who didn't panic when he was in the 0-for-32 slump that he ended with two singles on Saturday. He firmly got himself back on track on Monday night, hitting a solo home run and driving in another with a double in a 3-for-4 night as the Rangers beat the Mariners, 6-3.

"This year I've been pretty consistent for the most part until the past eight or 10 games when I hadn't been able to get the results I was looking for," Beltran said. "It's not that the work is not there. The work is there every day. The feeling at the plate wasn't there consistently in being able to put together good at-bats. Today, I was able to put good at-bats together and I got the results. I just got to go from there."

Beltran's home run in the first gave him 25 on the season between his time with the Yankees and Rangers. He became just the 27th player since 1901 to hit at least 25 home runs in his age 39-or-later season.

"For him to get us off to a good start is kind of fitting, getting a run early with the home run and then for him to drive the ball in the gap as well," Banister said. "He's driving the ball well and I think he's seeing it well. I think the balance he plays with is tremendous."

Banister pointed to Beltran's track record over his 19-year career as why he wasn't giving the slump much thought. He was still plugging Beltran in at the No. 3 spot in the order most nights as the Rangers continued to add to their first-place lead in the American League West.

Beltran's RBI double

"This is an extremely confident, great hitter," Banister said. "We know those at-bats are coming."

Beltran has had his way with Monday's starter, Hisashi Iwakuma, in his career. He's now 6-for-11 with a home run and three RBIs against him. But Beltran's faced quite a few pitchers over his lengthy career, so he didn't attribute breaking out of the slump to the past success over Iwakuma.

"Sometimes you feel good at the plate and sometimes you feel awful at the plate," Beltran said. "The same guy you got three hits against in a previous start is the same guy who [can] strike you out three times the next start. This game is about feeling and I felt like my approach was good [tonight]."

The big night from Beltran was part of an eight-hit attack by the Rangers, giving starter Yu Darvish plenty of support as he made his eighth straight quality start and struck out nine over 6 2/3 innings.

"Yu set the table with what he was able to do tonight," Banister said. " … We were able to capitalize on some balls that we hit hard where we didn't miss the mistake pitches." 

Ryan Posner is a reporter for based in Dallas. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.