Adrian Beltre has helped the Texas Rangers win a lot of games over the years. On Saturday Authentic Clay Matthews Jersey , he found a surprising way to spark his team to its seventh straight victory.
Beltre and Robinson Chirinos homered to help Yovani Gallardo win for the first time since last July as the Texas Rangers beat the Minnesota Twins 9-6 on Saturday.
The home run wasn’t anything unusual — he’s got 466 of those his 21-year major league career. But he led off the second inning by beating out a ground ball to shortstop, no easy feat for a 39-year-old who has spent almost a month on the disabled list this year with a strained left hamstring.
The infield single led to a six-run rally to help the Rangers overcome an early 2-0 deficit.
”Speed kills – don’t you know that?” a grinning Beltre said. ”Over the last week or so, we’ve been able to find out how to get guys on, and now we’re getting more consistent in bringing those guys in.”
Eddie Rosario homered and drove in four runs for the Twins, while Logan Morrison also homered and Mitch Garver had three hits. Minnesota lost its third straight when it couldn’t overcome a short start from veteran Jake Odorizzi (3-5).
The Twins did rally for three runs in the ninth and had the tying run at the plate with two outs. But Rangers closer Keone Kela struck out Morrison with the bases loaded to end the game, earning his 18th save in 18 chances.
Gallardo (1-0) was making his second start for Texas after opening the year with Cincinnati. He promptly fell behind 2-0 just five pitches into the game before turning it around and pitching into the sixth inning.
Joe Mauer led off the bottom of the first with a sharp single to left. Then Rosario hit the first pitch he saw into the right-field seats for his 17th home run of the season.
But Gallardo settled down, at one point retiring 12 of 13. Morrison’s two-run homer with one out in the sixth inning ended Gallardo’s day, but he earned his first victory since July 29, 2017, when he was pitching for Seattle.
Odorizzi retired the side in order in the first inning, but the Rangers knocked him out in a six-run second. The big blows were two-run singles by Delino DeShields and Nomar Mazara.
Beltre’s second hit of the inning finally spelled the end for Odorizzi, who lasted just 1 2/3 innings. It was the shortest start of his career, other than a one-inning start in 2017 that he was forced to leave due to an injury.
”It just started to unravel,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. ”A couple guys got on, then he slipped on the mound, then he hit a guy, and even later in the inning after he’d given up some, we still had chances. He got ahead of Mazara 0-2, Beltre he got ahead of, but we just couldn’t finish.”
Odorizzi, the Twins’ opening day starter, has seen his ERA climb steadily in his last six outings. He’s allowed 25 earned runs in 25 2/3 innings over that stretch, driving his ERA to a season-high 4.97.
”It’s upsetting and frustrating . It’s not something I take lightly.” Odorizzi said. ”I take a lot of pride in getting guys out. Trust me, I’m more frustrated about this than anybody in this clubhouse. This has been one of the tougher stretches in my short big league career.”
HIT BATTER BEEF
Rangers 3B Jurickson Profar was hit by pitches three times on Saturday, tying a team record that he also matched just two weeks ago. But the Rangers were not happy with the circumstances surrounding the third time it happened.
Profar stole second base in the fourth inning when the Rangers were leading 9-2. The next time Profar came to bat, Twins reliever Addison Reed threw three inside fastballs, finally hitting him in the leg with the third one.
”I thought the intent there was excessive, especially they tried to dial him up three different times,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. ”The guy’s playing baseball hard. I guess you can just look at it that there’s a difference in what they’re focusing in on and what we’re focusing in on.”
Molitor didn’t try to rationalize Reed’s approach to Profar, but he also didn’t deny that the dugout took notice when Profar stole a base with a seven-run lead.
”The thought process between the unwritten rules of the game is not clearly defined,” Molitor said. ”What I might think and what he might think might be different things. I was surprised that (Profar) ran with the score the way it was, when he did. And getting hit there was something that Banister felt wasn’t appropriate.”
ROMERO TO ROCHESTER
After the game the Twins optioned rookie RHP Fernando Romero to Triple-A Rochester Womens Clay Matthews Jersey , with a corresponding move to be announced on Sunday. Romero, who made his major league debut on May 2 and won his first two starts, is 3-3 with a 4.38 ERA in 10 starts.
Rangers: 1B Joey Gallo left the game in the third inning with left hamstring tightness. He was replaced by Ronald Guzman.
Twins: 3B Eduardo Escobar returned to the starting lineup for the first time since he was hit by a pitch on the right elbow in the first inning of Thursday’s game against Boston.
Rangers: RHP Bartolo Colon (4-4, 4.91 ERA) returns to Target Field to face his former teammates in the series finale Sunday afternoon. Colon went 5-6 in 15 starts for the Twins last season as he helped them clinch the second AL wild card spot.
Twins: RHP Jose Berrios (7-5, 3.51) will be looking for his first victory since June 7 as Minnesota tries to avoid being swept. In his last two starts he’s allo
Colin Kaepernick’s first two ”protests” drew scant attention. He sat on the bench, out of uniform, virtually unnoticed. His third got some buzz after a reporter tweeted a picture of the 49ers bench that had nothing to do with the quarterback but caught him in the frame, sitting during the national anthem.
Meanwhile, the killing of a 12-year-old boy by police and the light it shined on the Black Lives Matter movement helped draw a reluctant LeBron James into the world of using sports as a vehicle for social change. But once he got there, James stayed disciplined both about the message he sends and the way he sends it.
Despite their vastly divergent methods, Kaepernick and James helped set a stake in the ground, declaring to athletes across all sports that their platforms could be – should be – used for more than fun and games in the 21st century.
Kaepernick’s message – ”organic” to some, ”disorganized” to others – started a movement that has essentially linked the NFL with kneeling in a dramatic string of events that will play out for a final time this season, Sunday at the Super Bowl. James has also made an imprint thanks to the power of his own brand. Whose method worked better? The answer to that question figures to guide the direction of sports protests for the foreseeable future.
”Kaepernick didn’t go into it knowing what was going to happen. He was doing what he thought was right but this was not something he expected,” said professor Danielle Coombs of Kent State, who specializes in the politics of sports. ”On the other hand, you have athletes, like LeBron James, who make sure they do it in a way that lets the message rise to the top.”
Coombs and David Casillo co-authored a paper in the Journal of Sport and Social Issues centered on James, whose precise, calculated brand of activism pressed for change, but in a way that would not negatively affect the bottom line.
Two years before Kaepernick, and two decades after the seemingly apolitical Michael Jordan once reportedly said Republicans buy shoes, too, James found himself in the middle of a firestorm in the wake of the killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice.
James said very little about the killing, which occurred only miles from his hometown of Akron, Ohio. He took heat for his reluctance. But over the ensuing years, he branched out slowly and cautiously, and sometimes with others at his side. He joined Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Dwayne Wade at the 2016 ESPYs and gave a well-received speech calling for an end to gun violence.
The speech was a well-thought-out, well-organized message timed for maximum impact, as was Steph Curry’s impassioned defense of the stance that Kaepernick and others had taken on issues ranging from sitting during the national anthem Youth Michael Gallup Jersey , to the importance of showing team unity to foregoing White House visits.
”If I’m going to use my platform, I don’t want to just be noise,” Curry wrote in a Veterans Day blog on The Players’ Tribune website. ”I want to talk about real issues that are affecting real people.”
The methods Curry and James use for getting out the message were almost the exact opposite of Kaepernick’s. Turns out, Kaepernick made more headlines, but also became more vulnerable to his message getting lost or distorted due to the timing and some of his own self-inflicted sideshows .
Some may say that by not being calculating and by playing from the heart, Kaepernick sent a truer message. He also backed it up by raising $1 million for charity – much coming in $10,000 increments from celebrities and sports stars.
But was it more effective? Can it be repeated?
”One of the keys for athletes is that they pick moments in time to make sure their message resonates,” said marketing expert Joe Favorito. ”Certainly, it has become easier for people to start a process. But it’s become more difficult to follow through with it. These days, unless you have the biggest stage, you’re competing against thousands of other people. It’s not necessarily athletes. It can be anyone.”
The NFL was unprepared for the protests, though a five-page memo in 1966 written by a young black league executive to then Commissioner Pete Rozelle predicted this could happen. The memo, which can be read in its entirety on theundefeated.com , warned that a team releasing a black player who’d been outspoken on civil rights issues could spark major protests.
Now even more than then, few platforms grab as many eyeballs as that of the NFL. And no league drapes itself in the American flag quite like the NFL. That’s two reasons Kaepernick’s gesture had legs.
When President Donald Trump took on the league this season, criticizing those who followed Kaepernick’s lead, the debate became multipronged, with players, and even some owners, banding together to show they would not be pushed around by the president.
Meanwhile, TV ratings remained flat. Some fans tuned out and stayed away, enraged by what they perceived as disrespect to the flag, the military and American values.
Kaepernick’s original message got mixed in with several others. Regardless, midway through the season, the NFL realized it had to do something. After multiple meetings with player representatives, the league announced it was funneling $90 million into social justice issues that are important to players. Just last week, it launched Let’s Listen Together , an initiative designed to address some of the players’ most urgent concerns.
The launch came mere days before the Super Bowl, where ”The Star-Spang
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