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Old Friend Adrian Beltre Homers Thrice, Leads Rangers To ALCS

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Adrian Beltre has 15 home runs in his last 20 games.
Adrian Beltre has 15 home runs in his last 20 games.

The Dodgers may not be involved in the postseason, but we can still live vicariously through old friends. Adrian Beltre was the story of the day on Tuesday, hitting three home runs in St. Petersburg to lead the Texas Rangers to their second straight 4-3 road win to defeat the Tampa Bay Rays, three games to one. The Rangers are in their second straight ALCS.

Beltre joins a select list of six men to have hit three home runs in a postseason game, including Babe Ruth twice. Ruth and Reggie Jackson are the only two of the six to do so in the World Series, with Jackson's coming in the championship clinching Game 6 of the 1977 World Series off three different Dodgers pitchers.

I can still hear the call of Rory Markas of Adam Kennedy's three home runs for the Anaheim Angels against the Minnesota Twins in Game 5 of the 2002 ALCS ("He has homered THREE TIMES"), but I can never remember Bob Robertson, who slugged three homers in Game 2 of the 1971 NLCS for the Pittsburgh Pirates against the San Francisco Giants.

Beltre has hit 15 home runs in his last 20 games.

Texas will open the ALCS at home if the Detroit Tigers can finish off the New York Yankees. Rick Porcello and A.J. Burnett are battling in Game 4 at Comerica Park right now (Gameday here, on TV on TBS). Detroit leads the series 2-1.

The Philadelphia Phillies got six shutout innings from Cole Hamels, then a three-run pinch-hit home run from Ben Francisco, and held on for a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium in Game 3 of their NLDS. Albert Pujols had four hits, including three doubles, for the Cardinals, while old acquaintance Ryan Theriot had four singles of his own for St. Louis in the loss. Philadelphia leads the series 2-1.

Shaun Marcum and the Milwaukee Brewers try to complete their sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks, who counter with rookie Josh Collmenter in Game 3 of their NLDS at Chase Field. That on is on TNT (Gameday here) at 6:30 p.m. PDT.