From Anthony Andro of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram comes word that Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre has been cleared to begin a minor league rehab assignment Monday with Triple-A Omaha.
Beltre has been on the disabled list since late July with a left hamstring strain. He hit a setback a few weeks ago while trying to run the bases, but he’s back on track now and should return to the major league lineup by the end of next week.
Beltre, 32, is batting .276 with a weak .318 on-base percentage this year, but he’s slugged .505 and boasts 20 home runs in 100 games played. Micheal Young has filled in at the hot corner for most of August.
The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.
After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.
Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.