Adrian Beltre entered Wednesday night's contest against the Baltimore Orioles with 22 home runs on the season. When the fourth inning came to a close at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, the Texas third baseman had 25.
Major League Baseball's Twitter account had the breaking news:
BREAKING: Adrian Beltre's 2nd homer of the 4th inning was his 3rd of the game vs Baltimore.— MLB (@MLB) August 23, 2012
It's not like Beltre isn't a power hitter, but anytime someone does something like this, it's surprising. Popping balls over the fence doesn't just require talent, a hitter must also see the right pitches at the right time.
That combination of luck and raw power rarely comes to pass, and here's the kicker: Beltre's three dingers against Baltimore come a little over three months after his teammate, Josh Hamilton, cracked four homers against the Orioles in early May.
How's that for having a team's number?
ESPN Stats & Info tells us on Twitter that this is the second time in his career that Beltre has hit three home runs in one night. They also note that this is the eighth time this season that a hitter has achieved the feat.
Wednesday night's power display adds to an already terrific season at the dish for Beltre.
Already hitting .305 with 22 home runs and 73 RBI in the devastating Ranger lineup even before the monster night, he is one of the best all-around third basemen in the game and this display only helps validate the fact.
Beltre's successful season is a big reason that the Rangers have 70-plus wins. Their lineup is arguably the league's most complete group and will make more a difficult postseason matchup for near everyone.
Stay tuned. The ball is beginning to look like a beach ball to Beltre, and everyone knows Rangers Ballpark isn't exactly favorable to pitchers.
Update: Beltre finishes the night 3-for-5 with three runs and three RBI in the Rangers' 12-3 win over the O's.