Beltre, who launched his 350th career home run in the sixth inning of the Rangers' 4-3 victory Friday, was shifted into the designated hitter spot, with Lance Berkman getting a scheduled day off.
"I wanted to get Beltre off his feet," Washington said. "He thought today was the best day to do it, so I did it. Baker will make the plays."
Baker has not played in a full game since April 19, making two pinch-hitting appearances before he was injured making a highlight-reel diving catch in the second inning Tuesday in Anaheim.
Rookie shortstop Leury Garcia was filling in on the left side of the infield in place of Elvis Andrus. It is only the second time this season Andrus has been absent from the Texas starting lineup, taking a scheduled day off like Berkman. Andrus extended his current hitting streak to six games Friday by going 2-for-5 with a double.
Nate Sandell is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.