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.
With his Astros trailing the Tigers 2-1, catcher Robinson Chirinos began his at-bat in the bottom of the ninth a triple shy of the cycle. He doubled in the second inning, singled in the fourth, and hit a solo homer in the seventh. Yordan Álvarez and Yuli Gurriel both struck out, leaving the Astros’ fate in the hands of Chirinos against Joe Jiménez. After working the count to 2-1, Chirinos slapped an 85 MPH slider to the gap in right-center field. A diving Travis Demeritte could not come up with the ball, but center fielder Harold Castro fired the ball back in to Gordon Beckham, who then made a perfect throw to Dawel Lugo at third base. Chirinos was tagged out for the final out of the game. No triple, no cycle. The Astros lost 2-1.
Chirinos was attempting to become the first Astro to hit for the cycle since Brandon Barnes on July 19, 2013 against the Mariners.
The Astros entered Wednesday’s game as the largest favorite in 15 seasons, according to ESPN’s David Purdum. The Astros were -500 per Caesars Sportsbook. Other sportsbooks had them at -550. So the Tigers’ win was quite the upset.
Justin Verlander went the distance in the loss. The only blemishes on his line were solo homers to Ronny Rodríguez in the fifth and John Hicks in the ninth. They were the only hits he allowed while walking none and striking out 11.