Adrian Beltre first ever to hit three homers in LDS game

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Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre hit a trio of solo homers Tuesday against the Rays, making him the seventh player ever to hit three in a postseason game and first to do it in an LDS.

Here’s the list:

1. Babe Ruth (NYY) – 1926 World Series – Game 4
2. Babe Ruth (NYY) – 1928 World Series – Game 4
3. Bob Robertson (Pit) – 1971 NLCS – Game 2
4. Reggie Jackson (NYY) – 1977 World Series – Game 6
5. George Brett (KC) – 1978 ALCS – Game 3
6. Adam Kennedy (ANA) – 2002 ALCS – Game 5
7. Adrian Beltre (Tex) – 2011 ALDS – Game 4

Beltre, who went 1-for-11 in the first three games of the series, took Jeremy Hellickson deep in the second and fourth and then homered again in his third at-bat off reliever Mike Moore. He’ll get up to the plate at least once more, and no one has ever hit four homers in a postseason game.

Update: Beltre hit a routine fly to right field to end the eighth. Unless the Rangers send nine men to the plate in the ninth or this one goes into extras, he won’t be batting again.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.