Adrian Beltre passes Julio Franco, becomes all-time games played leader among Dominicans

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Congratulations are in order for Adrian Beltre, who just became the all-time MLB games played leader among natives of the Dominican Republic when he stepped to bat in the top of the first inning Sunday afternoon in Detroit. Beltre has now played in 2,528 games over parts of 18 major league seasons.

Julio Franco, the previous holder of this record, appeared in 2,527 games between 1982-2007.

Beltre, normally one to deflect questions about his accomplishments and growing Hall of Fame resume, opened about this particular mark to columnist Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News …

“I’m proud of it,” Beltre said earlier this week. “I’m accomplishing things I never even thought about. It means I’ve been healthy and able to compete for a long time. … We are proud and we have always been proud of representing the Dominican. [Pedro Martinez’s] speech made me proud. We all grew up playing the game with whatever we had, a baseball, a tennis ball, any kind of ball, a sock even. We find a way to play. I’ve never forgotten that we played just for the fun of it. I try to never forget to have fun.”

Beltre is having a down year, but he hit his 400th career home run earlier this summer and he recently passed 2,700 career hits. Oh, and the Rangers suddenly hold the second American League Wild Card spot.

Yankees place Aaron Judge (strained calf) on IL

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK — Yankees star Aaron Judge was placed on the injured list with a right calf strain before Friday night’s game against Boston and manager Aaron Boone is optimistic the outfielder will not miss significant time.

The move was retroactive to Wednesday and Boone described the strain as mild after an MRI revealed the injury. To replace Judge on the roster, Thairo Estrada was recalled from the Yankees’ alternate site in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Judge began Friday leading the majors with nine homers and tied with Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon for the major league lead with 20 RBIs.

“It’s something that I think he really wants to try and work through here and kind of wants to be out here and feels like it’s a day-to-day thing which it may very well be, but I just think obviously it goes without saying how important a player Aaron is to us,” Boone said.

Boone had said last weekend’s series on the artificial turf in Tampa Bay took its toll on the 6-foot-7 outfielder.

Judge joined Giancarlo Stanton as the second Yankees slugger to land on the injured list this. Stanton was placed on the IL with a strained hamstring after getting hurt in the second game of last Saturday’s doubleheader.

“We’ve lost two MVP-caliber players,” Boone said. “Obviously that is a blow, especially two guys that playing well as they are right now.”

Judge was pulled for a pinch hitter during Tuesday night’s win over Atlanta and didn’t play Wednesday. The Yankees were off Thursday.

The 28-year-old All-Star missed time during July’s training camp because of a stiff neck.

The 2017 AL Rookie of the Year hit 27 homers in each of the last two seasons, both of them interrupted by injuries. His right wrist was broken when he was hit by a pitch in 2018 and he went on the injured list for two months last year with a left oblique strain.

Judge was diagnosed with a broken rib in March and would not have been ready for the season opener if the season began as scheduled on March 26.