Beltre, the Rangers' cleanup hitter, left Tuesday's game after getting hit in the helmet with a 92 mph fastball from Boston's Vicente Padilla in the eighth inning. Beltre passed all the protocols to rule out a concussion. He said he did not have a lingering headache from the incident.
"I got up this morning and I felt fine," Beltre said before going 1-for4 in the Rangers' 5-3 win over Boston.
While Padilla leads the major leagues in hit batsmen over the past decade with 107 and has a reputation as the game's pre-eminent "head-hunter," Beltre said he didn't think the pitch was intended to hit him. The pitch was the fourth pitch of an at-bat with the go-ahead run on third base.
"We know his reputation," Beltre said, "but I don't think I have any history with him. I watched the video and the catcher was set up away, so I don't think he tried to hit me."
Nevertheless, the Rangers sent a message that the pitch was unacceptable. With two outs in the first inning Wednesday, lefty Derek Holland plunked Boston cleanup hitter Adrian Gonzalez with a pitch in the buttocks. The rest of the game went on without incident.