By Art Garcia, The Sports Xchange
ARLINGTON, Texas — Adrian Beltre hasn’t been back for long. He may be gone again.
The heart and soul of the Texas Rangers left Tuesday night after spraining his ankle, casting a pall over a 10-8 win over the New York Mets that snapped a four-game losing streak.
“To miss 50-something games and finally come back and play six games and this happens,” Beltre said. “What are you gonna do?”
Beltre jammed his left ankle in the first inning running to first, but didn’t leave the game until the sixth as the injury continued to worsen. Wearing a protective boot after the game, he said X-rays were negative.
Beltre, who missed the first 51 games of the season with a hamstring injury, doesn’t expect to play in Wednesday’s finale of the two-game interleague series.
“Obviously when your best player is banged up, there is concern,” Texas manager Jeff Banister said. “We’ll know more in the morning.”
The Rangers (27-31) scored seven unanswered runs after falling behind 4-3 early. Joey Gallo blasted his team-leading 17th home run and Nomar Mazara tied a career high with four hits.
Texas pieced together a strong showing from its first two relievers out of the bullpen after spot starter Dillon Gee couldn’t get out of the fourth inning. The combination of Austin Bibens-Dirkx and Alex Claudio gave up a run over 4 2/3 innings. Bibens-Dirkx (1-0) picked up his first major league victory.
Matt Bush was touched for three runs in the ninth inning on homers from Curtis Granderson and Travis d’Arnaud. The Mets had two men on base when Jay Bruce grounded into a game-ending double play.
“With the guys we had coming up, I sure liked our opportunities,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “They were all good fastball hitters against Matt, and I thought they had a chance.”
The Mets’ offense gave starter Jacob deGrom plenty of run support early, with Juan Lagares, Asdrubal Cabrera and Neil Walker each hitting home runs as New York scored in each of the first three innings.
Lagares tied his career high with four of New York’s 17 hits.
The power display didn’t hold up as deGrom (4-3) was rocked in his first career outing against Texas. The right-hander allowed eight runs on 10 hits through four innings.
“You tell me that Jake deGrom’s going to start a game and we’re going to score eight runs, I’d figure the game’s over,” Collins said. “We’re winning that game.”
Gee didn’t fare much better in his first start against the club with which he broke into the majors. The right-hander, who went 40-37 with Mets from 2010-15, lasted 3 1/3 innings and allowed four runs on eight hits.
Texas finished with 16 hits and scored its most runs since beating San Diego 11-0 on May 9.
Jared Hoying had had three hits, with Shin-Soo Choo and Delino DeShields each had two.
New York (24-32) has dropped five of its last six games.
The Mets tagged Gee with three home runs in the first three innings. Luckily for the Rangers, each came with no one on base.
Juan Lagares went yard in the second, with Asdrubal Cabrera and Neil Walker each rounding the bases in the following frame. Walker’s shot to straight-away center put the visitors up 4-3.
Texas, though, was still leading 5-4 after three frames. The Rangers scored twice in both the second and third, the latter coming on Gallo’s two-run blast to right that just inched over the glove of Bruce.
Gee was done after leaving runners at the corners with one out in the fourth. Bibens-Dirkx got Texas out of the jam unscathed.
“The biggest thing, coming in, you want to minimize damage,” Bibens-Dirkx said. “Obviously, inherited runners are a big thing for a reliever and you really don’t want any of them to score. I was lucky enough I made some quality pitches to do that.”
The Rangers followed with three runs in the bottom of the inning, including Mazara’s seventh homer, to open up an 8-4 edge on deGrom.