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Beltre, Rangers face Diamondbacks amid trade rumors

By
Steve Habel, The Sports Xchange
Adrian Beltre and the Texas Rangers face the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday. Photo by Rob Cornforth/UPI
Adrian Beltre and the Texas Rangers face the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday. Photo by Rob Cornforth/UPI | License Photo

It looked like more and more likely that third baseman Adrian Beltre and relief pitcher Keone Kela would still be with the Texas Rangers after the trade deadline Tuesday, when they leave the Valley of the Sun after the second of a two-game series with Arizona.

Kela, however, is bound for Pittsburgh, inclved in a late trade Monday night for two players to be named.

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Texas won the series opener 9-5 against the Diamondbacks on Monday in the first game between the two teams since 2015. It was the Rangers' fifth straight win and snapped a three-game victory streak for the Diamondbacks.

The Rangers will send ageless right-hander Bartolo Colon (5-9, 5.02 ERA) to the hill in the series finale while Arizona will counter with right-hander Zack Godley (11-6, 4.73).

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Texas parted with Kela, who's been great as the Rangers' closer this season, in a trade called "challenging" by Rangers general manager Jon Daniels.

"Keone has been awesome the last couple years, a dominant closer for us," Daniels said. "Ultimately felt, where we are, it made sense to consider these kind of deals where we can get multiple players."

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The 25-year-old Kela has 24 saves and a 3.44 ERA this season.

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Kela, a Texas native, learned of the deal after being called from the bullpen in the seventh inning Monday night.

"I'm still a little shocked, but I'm excited that it's a new beginning, a new journey that I get to venture into," he said. "Just forever grateful for the opportunity to play here in Texas, all the support from the fans."

And as for Beltre, Texas would only consider sending him to a team that has a legitimate chance to win the World Series. The Braves, Red Sox and Indians would be great landing spots for him but there is nothing eminent and the clock is ticking.

"My head tells me any ballclub that's in a position of the (postseason) hunt would definitely want Adrian on their team," Texas manager Jeff Banister said about Beltre prior to Monday's game.

"But the value of having Adrian on this team is invaluable. I know (Daniels) and Adrian have a solid relationship and the two of them have communicated on this quite a bit."

The Diamondbacks are hopeful that third baseman Jake Lamb's left shoulder injury is not serious. Lamb injured the shoulder on Thursday while diving for a ball at Wrigley Field.

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Earlier this season, Lamb injured the same shoulder diving for a popup and missed six weeks in the aftermath. The latest injury is not expected to be as serious, according to Arizona team physician Gary Waslewski.

Also on the injury front, Arizona left fielder David Peralta left Sunday's game in San Diego with tightness in the back of his right shoulder. On Monday, he said he was feeling better, and after taking some swings in the batting cage, he declared himself able to pinch-hit if needed.

"It's not a big deal," Peralta told MLB.com. "I'm good. They did all the tests with my shoulder and my rotator and everything is strong. That's why I'm not worried about anything."

The 45-year-old Colon will make his 22nd appearance and 20th start of the season on Tuesday. He enters the start with 245 career wins, tied with Nicaragua's Dennis Martinez for most in MLB history by a native of Latin America and will be making a fifth attempt at the record, as he has gone 0-4, with a 5.96 ERA in his last four outings.

Colon will be working on regular four days' rest after taking the loss in the Rangers' 7-6 setback on Thursday at home versus Oakland. He has compiled a 1-2 record with a 3.94 ERA in five career starts against Arizona, earning the win in his most recent start on Aug. 20, 2017 in a 12-5 Minnesota victory in which Twins supported him with nine runs in the first inning.

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Colon is winless in three career starts at Chase Field, going 0-2 with a 4.32 ERA. He needs a win to tie Justin Verlander for the most ever in interleague play. Verlander has 32.

Godley Is tied for fifth in the National League in wins. He did not factor in the decision in his second straight start on July 26 at the Cubs, allowing four runs on seven hits over 5 2/3 innings.

Godley Is 5-2 with a 3.88 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 10 games (nine of them starts) at Chase Field in 2018. He has never faced the Rangers but has gone 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA in two career interleague starts, losing on July 19, 2016 against the Blue Jays and beating Detroit on May 10, 2017, with both of those games at home.

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