ARLINGTON -- Adrian Beltre got right to the point when describing his feelings about the Ballpark in Arlington. "I love this ballpark," Beltre said after the Rangers 8-0 victory over the Twins on Friday night. Beltre has good reason to feel that way after he made Major League history by hitting for the cycle for the second time in his career on Friday night. The first time he hit for the cycle was on Sept 1, 2008 while playing for the Mariners against the Rangers.
That game was at the Ballpark in Arlington as well, making Beltre the first player in Major League history to hit for the cycle both as a visitor and home player in the same facility. "It means I got a lot of hits," Beltre said. "No...it's special, having done it before. It's nice to be able to swing the bat well and give our pitcher some runs." Matt Harrison, who pitched eight scoreless innings, was the pitcher who was the beneficiary of Beltre's big night. Four years ago he was the victim. Harrison started that game and gave up three of the four hits. "Remind me of that tomorrow," Beltre said. He doesn't need to remind Harrison. "I know I've given up a home run to him, it must have been that game," Harrison said. "I'm glad he's on my side now." Beltre missed the cycle by a triple on Thursday night. He made up for that with a first-inning triple off of Twins starter Samuel Deduno on Friday night. "I was thinking maybe the scorekeeper would give me the triple for yesterday and give me the cycle," Beltre said. The triple was Beltre's first since July 26, 2010, a span of 302 games. He followed it up with a double in the second and a home run in the fifth off of Deduno. That left only the single and he delivered that with a line drive to right field in the seventh. "I wasn't thinking about the cycle until my last at-bat," said Beltre, who is now the sixth player in Rangers history to hit for the cycle. "He's an incredible player," Twins designated hitter Trevor Plouffe said. "I followed him since he was a Dodger. I grew up a Dodgers fan, and I know the kind of player he's become. As a third baseman, he's a guy that you have to look up to. His defense is probably the best in the game, and his offense is right there. He's a complete player. That's something that you look up to and want to be, obviously. Tonight's another example of how good a player he is. He's so dangerous." From 1972 to 2003, the Rangers had just one player do it: Oddibe McDowell on July 23, 1985 against the Indians at Arlington Stadium. It has been done five times since 2004. Mark Teixeira hit for the cycle in 2004, followed by Gary Matthews Jr. in 2006, Ian Kinsler in 2009, Bengie Molina in 2010 and Beltre on Friday night. The cycle comes just two days after Beltre hit three home runs in a game against the Orioles. "Hitting three home runs in a game is great, but the cycle, that's awesome," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "It's not easy to do. We got him on fire at the right time. He had been struggling, but it was only a matter of time with Beltre. He stung the ball all night." Beltre is now 13-for-22 with five home runs, seven runs scored and nine RBIs in his last five games. "I feel more comfortable at the plate," Beltre said. "I'm not thinking too much, I'm seeing the ball and making it happen."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.