Or the Complete Story About How I Got to See Another One of the Greatest Milestones in the History of Baseball
Part I: The Introduction
Part II: The Player
Part III: The Set-Up
Part IV: The Letdown
Part V: The Moment (you are here)
Part VI: The Aftermath (July 30)
I woke up a little past 9:00 on the morning of July 30, 2017, which was somewhat of a minor miracle considering I wasn't able to get to sleep until well after 3:00 in a morning from a combination of the late night and the excitement. Candlewood Suites where I was staying doesn't serve breakfast unlike their cousins Holiday Inn Express, but I had some leftover pizza to eat. The game wasn't due to start until 2:00, so I figured the gates would open at noon or so. I didn't really think of anything else I needed to do, so I packed up my things, loaded up the car, checked out of the hotel, and drove to Arlington.
Back when I lived in Fort Worth and was able to go to games with some level of regularity, there was a cash parking lot next to the Arlington Information Center that I liked parking at. It's not too far from the ballpark and is generally pretty cheap. However, it was also quite small so you'd have to get there early to snag a spot. It was about 10:00 when I got to the ballpark. When I arrived the people taking the cash hadn't arrived yet. Since it was early enough I waited around, and sure enough shortly afterward a car pulled in and some of the cash lot employees came out. They came up and asked for the $15 cash fee, which I had ready, and got the ticket to ensure that I can park there. Once I got it, I took my sign and headed to the ballpark.
When I crossed the street and got to the ballpark, I realized that I had forgotten my ticket. I suppose I could use my phone to pull up StubHub and scan the ticket from there, but it's much more convenient to have the ticket with me. I had to turn around and trek back to my car and pick up the ticket. By the time I got there somebody else had parked and was ready to head to the ballpark. We walked over together. He said he was from Waco, and when he found out that Adrian Beltre didn't get his 3,000th hit yesterday he bought a ticket and drove up for the chance to see the milestone. By the time we got to the First Base Gate, there was nobody there. We didn't want to wait in the hot sun, so he suggested we walk to the tunnel where players drove in.
There were a couple of people waiting around when we got to the tunnel. They said all of the players had already went in. However, the area was shaded so we waited there instead. The person from Waco found some people he knew, so he chatted with them while I made small talk with the others. One person was from out near the Abilene area and the other person was out past DFW near Weatherford or something. They said they make a few games a year, but they sure wanted to come to this one because of the chance to see history. I suppose without a bobble-head to give away the people that would be drawn to this game would be the ones that want to see history. At around 11:00 I decided that I should probably brave the blazing hot sun and go wait at the First Base Gate. I headed over and waited in line, once again using my sign as a makeshift umbrella. Eventually people started trickling in behind me. They all said they wanted to see Adrian go for history. It makes sense, because why else would people want to go to the ballpark on a brutally sunny other than to watch some baseball history?
Some baseball history was happening on July 30, 2017 even without the prospects of Adrian's milestone. The Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies were happening in Cooperstown, New York over 1,600 miles away. The list of former players and executives being honored were former Commissioner Allan Huber "Bud" Selig, former Royals and Braves general manager John Schuerholz, former Astros first baseman Jeffrey Robert Bagwell, and former Expos outfielder Tim "Rock" Raines. However, the one player that has all Rangers fans buzzing was former Rangers superstar catcher Ivan "Pudge 2.0" Rodriguez. It was the first time since 1999 that a player was going in as a Ranger. The confluence of history for the Rangers was unmistakable. Rodriguez even said that if Adrian Beltre gets his 3,000th hit before his speech, then he will say something congratulating Adrian on his momentous achievement.
While waiting in line in Arlington, I tried to watch some of the Hall of Fame ceremonies on my phone, but it was way too bright to get a good view, and it was all commercials anyways, so I quickly gave up on that. Eventually the security officers for the ballpark came out to set up. They remembered my sign from yesterday. I remembered that the gates open a little later on Sunday day games and asked for confirmation. They confirmed that gates will indeed open at 12:30. So that's another 30 more minutes of waiting.
At last, the clock struck 12:30 and the security officers got the okay to let us all in. I went and got my ticket scanned, and hurried down to the field level. For this game I splurged and got seats in section 36 down next to the field. I looked at where my seat was going to be, and then went down next to the field in front of my seat. There was no batting practice going on, possibly because it was too darned hot and sunny. The Jumbotron was playing scenes from the Hall of Fame ceremonies. When I got down, the Hall of Famers were making their introduction. I the Hall of Famers were introduced one by one with videos from their career. I noticed somebody goofed and showed Nolan Ryan's videos when somebody else was being introduced. The segment ended with the newest Hall of Famers being introduced. Cheers rang around the ballpark when Ivan Rodriguez made his entrance. I became curious whether they will show his speech perhaps between innings of the game.
It became clear that nobody was going to come out and sign any autographs, so once the introductions were over I retreated a few rows back to where my seats were. I held up my sign, and a cameraman for Fox Sports saw it. He asked to film it for a little bit, so I complied. Then he thanked me and went on. I have no idea what would become of that. The Jumbotron switched away from the Hall of Fame ceremonies and showed the lineup for the day. The Orioles started out with the same top three as the day before, with center fielder Adam Jones, third baseman Manny Machado, and second baseman Jonathan Schoop. DH Trey Mancini, who had one of the home runs the night before, was moved up to the cleanup role. First baseman Chris Davis, moved down to the number five spot. Catcher Welington Castillo from the Dominican Republic was doing the catching and hitting sixth. Left fielder Joey Rickard hit seventh, shortstop Ruben Tejada was hitting and eighth, and right fielder Craig Gentry, a former Ranger, was hitting ninth. For the Rangers, Adrian was hitting cleanup again. The leadoff spot went to Delino DeShields, who was playing left, followed by shortstop Elvis Andrus and right fielder Nomar Mazara. Then following Adrian was once again Mike Napoli, now DHing, followed by second baseman Rougned Odor and center fielder Carlos Gomez. Robinson Chirinos was at catcher and hitting eighth, while Joey Gallo was hitting ninth and playing first base.
On the mound for the Rangers was lefty Martin Perez. I was more than familiar with Martin Perez. He was signed out of Venezuela in 2007, and was one of the Rangers' top pitching prospects for most of the first half of the decade. He made his major league debut in 2012 and was hit hard. He pitched much better in 2013, but tore his ulnar collateral ligament early in 2014 and had to get Tommy John surgery. He came back successfully a year later and was durable if not spectacular. This would be the sixth time that I saw one of his starts, breaking a tie with Colby Lewis for most times watching a pitcher in my own personal experience. His previous five starts were pretty terrible, which soured me towards him. He had gone 1-3 in those five stars with a 6.14 ERA, and included such important games as the 2013 Tiebreak game, Game 3 of the 2015 ALCS, and a late season match-up against the Astros. Of course, the only time I've seen him win was against the Orioles, on August 29, 2015. And he had pitched well a year earlier on July 30, 2016, with a seven-inning effort against the Royals where he allowed only one run. Still, he was going into this game 5-8 with a 4.67 ERA.
The Orioles were countering with Wade Miley, also a left-hander. Miley is a southeastern Louisiana native who was drafted initially out of high school in the 20th round in 2005 before going to college and jumping up to the supplemental first round in 2008, where he was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks as a compensation pick for them losing Livan Hernandez. He progressed up the minor league chain steadily but was never considered a top prospect. He was called up in September 2011 and pitched at replacement level. It was enough for him to receive an invitation to big league camp in 2012 and threw well enough to make the Arizona starting rotation. He dazzled out of the gate, winning his first three decisions and keeping his ERA generally under 3.00 through the end of June. He made the All-Star team, and finished the season 16-11 with a 3.33 ERA. He was considered a prime candidate for Rookie of the Year, but finished second by only seven votes to Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals. He threw well again in 2013, but had a mediocre year in 2014. He was traded to the Boston Red Sox where he had another mediocre year, and was traded to the Seattle Mariners where he was mediocre and they traded him to Baltimore on July 31, 2016, whereupon he was just plain bad. He wasn't much better so far in 2017, with a 4-9 record and a 5.69 ERA.
Shortly before the game before I caught a couple of players playing toss in the area in front of the Rangers dugout. One of those was Adrian. He was intently focused on playing catch, so I just took a couple of pictures. I thought that I'd get a good view, but then people started streaming in all around me. It got to be where I was nervous just holding my sign up so I kept it down. Eventually the clock struck 2:00, and the game was ready to begin. Martin Perez threw a ball to Adam Jones for the first pitch, and I had a bad feeling. Thankfully, Jones grounded a ball to Adrian, who threw him out without any problems. Machado followed with another grounder to Adrian. Martin struck out Schoop to finish the top of the first with no damage.
As the cleanup hitter, Adrian needed at least one of the first three batters to reach in order to get a plate appearance in the first inning. However, neither DeShields nor Elvis could figure out Wade Miley, as DeShields struck out and Elvis was called out on strikes on a full count fastball. Nomar ended the inning by grounding out to Schoop at second, and Adrian had to wait until the second inning to get this first plate appearance. At this point I was trying to keep track of the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, but the crowd was so loud I couldn't tell anything. All I knew was that Bud Selig was speaking. No thank you. Martin Perez came out for the top of the second and allowed a single to Mancini, who had hit the first home run off of Austin Bibens-Dirkx the night before. I was waiting for the bottom to fall out for Martin, but then he came back to strike out former Ranger Chris Davis, and got Castillo and Rickard to pop out.
As soon as the last out was made, the crowd started to roar, and not just because Martin Perez got through the second inning unscathed. The roar got louder as Wade Miley finished his warmup tosses, and public address announced called, "Now batting, third baseman Adrian Beltre!" The crowd stood up and his family stood ready to run onto the field. Miley's first pitch to Adrian was a called strike. The second pitch was up and in and Adrian had to bend backwards to avoid. Pitch number three was down by Adrian's feet and he had to skip out of the way. There was no way he was going to hit those. The fourth pitch was inside, and the count was now three balls and one strike. The crowd started grumbling. We all thought it was pretty cowardly of Miley to walk Adrian rather than risk giving up the milestone hit. The next pitch was also inside and Adrian thought it was ball four. He was running towards first base when the home plate umpire, minor league call-up umpire Chris Segal, called it strike two. The crowd was really booing at this time, because now the Rangers wouldn't be able to get a base-runner. However, he does get another pitch to get the milestone hit. Miley's next pitch was a sinker well below the strike zone. Adrian struggled early in his career to lay off those sinking pitches. Part of his success late in his career was his ability to recognize and avoid swinging at the pitches beneath the strike zone. However, either because of the gravity of the situation or because he was just plain fooled, he swung over the pitch and struck out.
The entire crowd groaned at the strikeout. Adrian has now had three hitless plate appearances since hit number 2,999. It was even worse when Napoli struck out for out number two. Odor tried getting on by a bunt, but he hit the ball too hard and Miley was able to easily field the ball and throw to first for the out. In the third, Martin led off with two balls against Tejada, but then evened the count, and on the fifth pitch Tejada lined one towards center. Center fielder Gomez came over and made a fine running catch to record the out. Gentry followed with an infield hit, but he got too eager dancing off the basepaths, and Martin picked him off as he took off running for the second out. It took Martin only two more pitches to strike out Jones to end the third inning. Rangers fans were hoping that the Rangers can get a rally going to put some runners on, score some runs, and get Adrian up to the plate before the end of the inning. Carlos Gomez did his part, grounding a single through the left side of the infield. However, Miley struck out Chirinos for his fifth strikeout of the day. Gallo lofted a fly ball deep to center field. Left fielder Rickard was positioned to catch it, but he saw center fielder Jones racing over. He deferred to the veteran who ran and made the catch. DeShields lined a ball to right, but right fielder Gentry was able to make the catch. So much for a rally.
By this time Ivan Rodriguez had started to make his speech. Martin Perez would have to get through the fourth quickly if Adrian was to get another chance before Pudge 2.0 finishes with his speech. Martin had been pitching well through the first three innings, but in the fourth the bottom fell off. Manny Machado led off with a booming double, and Schoop walked. The next three hitters Mancini, Davis, and Castillo all singled to give the Orioles a 3-0 lead, and the Orioles still had runners on first and second with no outs. So much for Martin Perez pitching well. Rickard hit a long fly ball that curved into foul territory. DeShields made nice running catch on it for the first out, but both Davis and Castillo tagged up to go to second and third. The next batter Tejada bounced a ball to the left side of the infield. Elvis fielded it and saw Castillo running to third. He made an easy toss to Adrian who ran over and give Castillo a big bear hug to record the second out. However, Davis scored on the play to give the Orioles a 4-0 lead, the same score as the final score the night before. Gentry grounded out to end the inning.
By the time the fourth inning was over, Rodriguez was wrapping up his speech, and the longtime Expos leadoff man Tim Raines was getting ready to give his. Meanwhile the crowd was fuming at the deficit. I had gotten myself another Sno-blast, this time one in the Cherry Sub-Lime flavor. However, Adrian was guaranteed to come up in this inning. They were hoping that some runners can get on base for Adrian to "clean up." Elvis worked the count full, but then hit a lazy fly ball that center fielder Jones had no trouble jogging over to catch. Nomar was the next batter. He was also able to work the count full. This time the payoff pitch just missed the bottom of the strike zone (at least according to home plate umpire Segal), and Nomar jogged over to first base with the walk. Then from 5,000 throats and more there rose a lusty yell. It rumbled through the valley and rattled in the dell. It pounded upon the mountain and recoiled upon the flat. For Mighty Adrian Beltre was advancing to the bat.
There was no ease in Adrian's manner as he stepped into his place. He was certainly aware of the fact that he has had three hitless at-bats between his last hit. He was also more aware that the Rangers were down four, and haven't scored a run since he and Mike Napoli scored in the fifth inning of the game two nights ago. He was hoping to ignite the offense and maybe get the milestone that he had been chasing since June 24, 1998 out of the way. Home plate umpire Segal went to get more balls in his ball bag from the bat boy, but soon everybody settled into position. Meanwhile the folks in the stands were standing with their phones out to capture the moment, should it happen here. The first pitch from Miley missed inside for ball one. Adrian moved his hands, but held up. Miley's second pitch was low, and while he swung at the pitch with the count full in the first, Adrian made no motion to swing at this pitch. Catcher Castillo jogged out to hand-deliver the ball to Miley and also say a few words. The Rangers were all perched at the front of the dugout, although as the Fox Sports SW cameras showed only Adrian's good friend and chief tormentor Elvis Andrus stayed behind in the dugout. Miley's third pitch was also low and inside, and Adrian did a little hop.
By this time the crowd was getting restless. This was the second straight three-ball count that Miley had on Adrian, and this time the count was 3-0. It is customary for batters to take a 3-0 pitch, because if the pitcher has thrown three straight balls then the chances of them throwing a fourth ball is somewhat high. And nobody wants to make an out on a 3-0 count. Adrian has faced 330 3-0 counts in his career, and has walked 307 times on them. However, he has been aggressive before, rocketing 11 other hits on 3-0 counts, including two earlier this year, one against Chris Tillman two days earlier for hit #2997, and another against none other than Wade Miley on July 20 for hit #2984. Still, the crowd couldn't help but think that they were going to pitch around Adrian to deprive him of another opportunity to get his milestone hit. Boos started to ring around the ballpark, and one woman near me yelled, "Come on!"
Wade Miley got set for his fourth pitch. Adrian stood at home plate with his slightly closed stance that he had acquired from hitting coach Tim Wallach 13 years earlier, letting his bat sway casually in the air. Miley wound up and delivered a pitch that was 91.77 mph as it left his hand, according to pitch f/x data. It had some slight horizontal movement to the inside of the strike zone. Adrian unleashed a powerful swing. He pulled the ball on the ground, like he did with all four of the balls he put in play last night. However, the ball had a velocity off the bat of well over 98 mph, as it rocketed past third baseman Manny Machado. Third base umpire Bruce Dreckman signaled the ball stayed within the foul line, and everybody in the crowd knew at that moment that Adrian Beltre has his 3,000th hit.
The ball continued to bounce into foul territory and caromed off the wall past the security guard and the ballgirl. Left fielder Rickard was chasing the ball, but slipped as he change directions to adjust for the carum. He fielded the ball and threw it back into the infield towards second baseman Schoop, who caught it as Adrian jogged in with a double. Meanwhile, Nomar was running as soon as the ball was hit and made it easily to third. In the stands the crowd was screaming almost deliriously while I was trying to remove the "1" on my countdown sign. I held up the sign but blocked the person behind me who told me to put the sign down. So much for having a sign. Meanwhile, the Rangers unfurled a large cloth sign in center field saying "Congratulations Adrian Beltre 3,000 Career Hits" much like they did with his 2,000th career hit and his 400th home run. The Jumbotron counted up to 3000 and some fireworks went off as soon as the countdown went to 3000. On the field, Adrian took off his batting helmet and wiped the sweat off his brow while his teammates streamed onto the field. Second baseman Jonathan Schoop came by to give him the ball and a small hug. First base coach Hector Ortiz came up to Adrian and gave him the first big hug while a bat boy collected the ball, then together they walked with to first base where his teammates had congregated.
Up in the stands, we cheered. We cheered not only because the Rangers now had runners on second and third with only one out. We cheered not only because we got to see a nifty piece of baseball history. We cheered because it was Adrian Beltre that got the milestone. We cheered because of the way he had transformed himself from an underachieving talent to the undisputed team leader of the Texas Rangers. We cheered because of the joy he had brought to the game day in and day out of a baseball season that was otherwise an arduous grind. We cheered because of the plays he had made and the big hits he had gotten. We cheered because barring some unforeseen catastrophe, this hit will solidify his spot in Baseball's Hall of Fame, where five others were getting honored that very minute.
Meanwhile, the security folks around home plate let the Beltre family onto the field. His kids came running out. Adrian was walking back with Ortiz and looked puzzled as they ran right past him. He received an acknowledgment from his former teammate Chris Davis. He then looked to see that his kids had run out into right center field. He stopped to get some hugs from his close friends Elvis Andrus and Carlos Gomez and Delino DeShields and Nomar Mazara, Martin Perez, with Elvis and DeShields sneaking in some head touches. As he was getting these hugs, public address announcer Morgan said "Please direct your attention to right center field, Adrian's family Cassandra, Adrian Jr., and Canila are now unveiling a sign on the outfield wall in right center field." They removed some tarp with the help of Rangers executives to reveal that the "Adrian Beltre 3000 Hits" logo had been printed on the wall. Another round of cheers rang through the ballpark as Adrian's children ran back towards the infield. Adrian hugged Mike Napoli and Rougned Odor, then Jonathan Lucroy and third base coach Tony Beasley when Odor got Adrian's attention that his kids were coming. Adrian got away from his teammates and welcomed his children with open arms. Adrian Jr. got to his dad first and gave him a big hug, followed by a hug for Cassandra, and a hug for Canila that lifted her off her feet. Adrian Jr. got a second hug before Adrian went back to hugging his manager and coaches and trainers and clubhouse men while the rest of his family came onto the field.
Sandra Beltre got to her husband and gave him a kiss followed by a big hug and a second kiss. He then went on to give a great big hug to his mother Andrea Perez who had given birth to him then helped raise him in Santo Domingo all those many years ago. After that he gave a hug to his father Bienvenido, the man they called "El Negrito," and the man who instilled in Adrian a love for the game and the drive and the desire to succeed in the game. He gave kisses on the cheek to his three children again before moving on to his wife. At this time chants of "Beltre! Beltre!" came ringing around the stand. He stood with his arms around his wife before raising them to acknowledge the cheers. As his teammates streamed back into the dugout and his family went back to the stands, Adrian was ready to get the game going again. He took off his shin guards and gave them to first base coach Ortiz, who gave him another hug.
As Adrian walked towards the second the Orioles went for their hugs. He gave one to his former teammate Davis again, then their star third baseman Machado. Other Orioles lined up behind second to get hugs of their own, starting with center fielder Jones. After Jones gave his hug, he reached out and touched Adrian in the head. Adrian responded by hitting Jones in the cup before moving on to finish out the line: former teammate Gentry, second baseman Schoop, shortstop Tejada, and left fielder Rickard. After that he gave one more acknowledgement to the crowd, and was ready for the game to move on.
If this was the end of the game then it would have been magical. Alas, unlike with Randy Johnson's 300th win, there was still a game to play. Adrian had always said that he doubted that the game would pause to celebrate the milestone, but by the time Mike Napoli took his place to take his hacks against Wade Miley, it had been four and half minutes since Adrian had gotten hit #3,000. Miley had thrown some warmup pitches during the celebration, and he was more than ready to face Napoli, inducing a pop-up out. Odor was next, and he grounded a single to the opposite field, and both Nomar and Adrian scored eliciting some more cheers. The Rangers were finally on the board! Gomez followed and got hit on the left hand to put runners on first and second, but Chirinos flied out to end the threat.
After the high of the 3,000 Hit moment, the rest of the game was somewhat of a downer for the Rangers. Martin started the fifth by getting Jones to ground to Adrian, but then Machado lofted a soft fly ball that fell for a single, and then Schoop muscled a high fastball to the left field seats to give the Orioles a 6-2 lead. Martin followed with a walk to Mancini, and allowed a single to Davis, and that was the end of his day. He was replaced by Jeremy Jeffress, the reliever that was traded alongside catcher Jonathan Lucroy at the trading deadline a year earlier. The first batter he faced was Welington Castillo, who powered a fly ball that hit the left field foul pole for a three-run home run. With that Martin Perez's ERA in the six starts I saw him soared to 7.86. The next batter Rickard hit a hard bouncer that Adrian flagged down with a nice backhanded play, but then the throw pulled first baseman Gallo well off the bag, and Adrian has two errors in two games. The next batter Tejada grounded into a double play to reduce the damage, but the Rangers were now down 9-2.
Adrian took his first plate appearance after the milestone hit in the fifth. Gallo singled to lead off the inning, and Elvis reached on a rare error by Manny Machado, but Miley got DeShields and Nomar out to put runners at the corner with two outs for Adrian. Adrian got the count to 2-2, and then lined a pitch to center field. Jones ran it down to deny Adrian of hit #3001. In the 6th, Gentry led off the inning with a single before getting erased in a fielder's choice hit by Jones. Schoop walked to put Jones in scoring position, then Schoop hit an RBI single to score Jones to make it 10-2 before a double play ended the inning. Side-armer and former Ranger Darren O'Day came out to pitch in the bottom of the 6th. He struck out the side, but did allow a towering home run to center field by Odor to make it 10-3. Jeffress retired Davis, Castillo, and Rickard one-two-three in the top of the 7th inning, but then Orioles reliever Brad Brach and did the same to the Rangers, retiring Gallo, DeShields, and Elvis in the bottom of the 7th.
Jason Grilli, who had pitched against the Rangers with the Blue Jays in the 2016 Division Series, but was so bad in 2017 that the Blue Jays unloaded him onto the Rangers, came out to pitch the top of the 8th. He went through and retired Tejada, Gentry, and Jones. For the bottom of the 8th, the Orioles turn to Dominican Miguel Castro, who was born on AJN's 10th birthday, five and a half months after Adrian Beltre was signed by the Dodgers. Castro allowed a leadoff home run to Nomar Mazara that went into deep right field. He came back and struck out Adrian, who still managed to race to first base as the ball got away from catcher Castillo. Napoli also struck out and was actually retired, but then Orioles manager Buck Showalter came out and replaced Castro with lefty Donnie Hart to face the left-handed Odor. It didn't work out, as Odor belted an 0-1 pitch to the right field seats and the Rangers are now down 10-6. Drew Robinson, who had replaced Gomez before the 8th inning drew a walk, but then Brett Nicholas, who had replaced Chirinos also before the 8th inning grounded into a double play to end the threat.
Grilli was still pitching in the top of the 9th inning when Machado led off and grounded a fair ball down the right field line. It got underneath the stools of the ballgirl and the security guard. Right fielder Nomar was seeing if first base umpire Mike Everitt would call it a ground rule double. When Everitt would not, Nomar picked up the ball and fired it to Adrian who caught the ball and put the tag on Machado, who was racing around second heading for third. Dreckman initially called Machado safe, but Rangers manager Jeff Banister called for the replay. The replay showed that despite Machado angling his body away from Adrian, Adrian still got the glove down to make the tag for out number one. It was scored a double and an out at third. The next batter Schoop lined an 0-2 pitch to Nomar without the drama, and Mancini flew out to end the inning.
The Rangers were down to their final three outs in the bottom of the 9th. Hart led off the inning, but walked the left-handed Gallo. With the top of the Rangers batting order right-handed, Showalter replaced Hart with right-handed ace reliever Mychal Givens. Banister countered by pinch hitting DeShields with the left-handed Shin-Soo Choo, who had the day off, but came on to try to help the Rangers come back. Alas, he was called out on strikes. Elvis was hit by the pitch to put runners on first and second, and put the tying run on deck. With the game now a save situation, Showalter turned once again to his closer, Zach Britton, for the four-run, less-than-three-out save. Nomar struck out, and Adrian came up to either help continue the comeback, or send the game to a humiliating defeat. Adrian took the count to 1-2, hitting two foul balls, including one that went just foul down the left field line. Finally, he hit a slow grounder that shortstop Tejada had no problem fielding and throwing to second baseman Schoop for the out. And that's the end of the game.
The final results of the game was certainly a disappointment for the Rangers and their fans. The Rangers were fighting for a Wild Card spot, being 18 games behind the Astros, but the loss sent them three games behind the Rays for that second Wild Card spot. Nevertheless, nobody that attended the game or even had a passing interest in baseball history could ever forget the beautiful five minutes that had happened in the fourth inning, when Adrian Beltre became the 31st player and first Dominican-born player to record 3,000 hits. It really was a special time.
Sources: Well, here it is, after 30,000 words in five days we finally get to the milestone 3,000th hit. Part of this is personal recollection, and the part for the play by play relied heavily on Baseball Reference's box score for the game as well as the Fox Sports SouthWest broadcast of the game. The video by YouTube user AK G was also used as a reference. He sat behind me but somehow got a much better view of the action.
Anyways, after 30,000 words in five days, I will go ahead and take a break. The sixth part will come six months from now, on July 30, 2018, and will explore how things have changed on the anniversary of this 3,000th hit. Who knows, it may be another personal holiday.