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Posted at 05:57 PM ET, 10/04/2011

Adrian Beltre hits three homers as Rangers clinch AL division series

Adrian Beltre watches home No. 3 sail into the stands. (PIERRE DUCHARME / Reuters)
Coming into Game 4 of the American League Division Series between the Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays, Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre had all of one hit in 11 at-bats.

He improved on that today, hitting three home runs in the Rangers’ 4-3 series-clinching victory in St. Petersburg, Fla. He is only the seventh player in baseball history to have three homers in a postseason game. He is the first in a division-series game. The Angels’ Adam Kennedy was the last to hit three homers in a postseason game, doing so in the American League Championship Series against Minnesota in 2002.

Beltre, who hit 32 home runs in the regular season, homered in the second, fourth and seventh innings. The first two homers were against starter Jeremy Hellickson; he hit the third off Matt Moore. Each of the homers came with the bases empty.

By  |  05:57 PM ET, 10/04/2011

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