Adrián Beltré (Trading Card DB)

August 3, 2015: Adrián Beltré hits for third career cycle in Rangers’ win over Astros

This article was written by Mike Huber

Adrián Beltré (Trading Card DB)On August 3, 2015, the Texas Rangers opened a three-game series with their in-state and division rivals, the Houston Astros. Although the Rangers (51-53) sat eight games behind the AL West Division-leading Astros (60-46) with about two months left in the season, the home team had won four of its last five games and was known, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram,  for “having a tendency of scoring plenty of runs” when veteran right-hander Colby Lewis started a game.1

The Rangers wound up needing a lot of runs, as they held on for a wild 12-9 win before a Globe Life Park crowd of 21,671. The offense was led by 36-year-old third baseman Adrián Beltré, who hit for the cycle for a record-tying third time in his Hall of Fame career.

After the 2010 season, Beltré had signed a six-year contract with the Rangers, then the defending AL champions. Beltré was a big reason that Texas made the playoffs in four of the next six years, and he led the Rangers in WAR every season from 2012 through 2016.

In 2015, however, the right-hand-batting Beltré sprained his left thumb on May 31, which affected his grip on the bat.2 He missed more than three weeks, returning on June 23, but he didn’t get back into his stride until after July 7, batting 25-for-78 (.321) in the 20 games that led up to the Houston series.

Lewis, taking the mound a day after his 36th birthday, had led the AL with 14 losses in 2014, but he entered the Houston game with a record of 11-4, having won each of his previous three starts and seven of his last eight decisions. The Astros’ starter was rookie righty Lance McCullers Jr., a first-round choice from the 2012 draft. This was his first time facing the Rangers, but through 13 starts, his ERA was a very good 2.48. The 21-year-old McCullers had allowed more than three earned runs in just one start.

The scoring began right away. Astros All-Star José Altuve swung at Lewis’s first pitch of the game and beat out an infield grounder up the middle, then went from first to third on Carlos Gómez’s hit-and-run groundout to second. Houston’s reigning Rookie of the Year Carlos Correa drove a two-run home run down the left-field line for an early 2-0 lead.

That lead was short-lived: The Rangers scored six times in the bottom of the first. The first five Texas batters reached: Delino DeShields walked on a full count, Rougned Odor singled to right, and Prince Fielder singled to left, plating DeShields. Beltré connected on a two-run triple to left-center, giving the home team the lead. The Houston Chronicle told its readers that fans were “still settling in at Globe Life Park when the Rangers knocked McCullers out of the contest.”3

Mitch Moreland worked an eight-pitch at-bat, singling to short center for an RBI. After McCullers struck out Josh Hamilton, Shin-Soo Choo launched his 14th home run of the season, well beyond the right-field wall. When Elvis Andrus and Bobby Wilson both singled, putting runners at the corners, Houston manager A.J. Hinch brought in Josh Fields in relief of McCullers.4 Texas had batted around, and there was still only one out. Fields retired DeShields and Odor on infield popouts, but Texas had taken a 6-2 lead.

Luis Valbuena homered with two down in the second, his 20th of the year, giving Houston its third run. Beltré doubled in the bottom of the second (to almost the same spot as his triple) but was stranded there with the score 6-3.

In the bottom of the third, Texas sent 11 batters to the plate for the second time in the game. Mike Fiers, making his first appearance after he and Gómez came to the Astros in a July 30 trade with the Milwaukee Brewers,5 struck out Choo but then allowed the next seven Rangers to reach safely. Andrus singled and came home on Wilson’s double to left. DeShields walked and Odor’s triple knocked in two more runs. Fielder’s single scored Odor for a 10-3 lead.

Beltré then lined a shoulder-high outside pitch to right field. Fielder stopped at second, and he scored when Moreland lined a single to right-center. An out later, Choo walked to load the bases, but Fiers retired Andrus for the final out of the inning. Texas had scored five more runs, reaching double digits within three innings. It was an 11-3 game.

The Astros’ high-powered offense answered in the fourth. Evan Gattis and Jed Lowrie each singled. After Colby Rasmus hit into a force out, Lewis gave up a four-pitch walk to Valbuena. Jason Castro took advantage of the bases-loaded situation, blasting a home run deep down the right-field line. Castro’s 10th home run of the season and third career grand slam was also his third homer in his last 14 at-bats. Castro’s homer “gave the Astros a glimmer of hope,”6 as Houston had narrowed the deficit to 11-7.

Beltré came to bat in the fifth with one out and none on. He hit a deep drive to left, several rows back, for his ninth home run of the season. With his solo shot, Beltré had completed hitting for the cycle before the fifth inning had ended.7 Further, Beltré had collected 10 hits (with five extra-base hits) in his past four games, boosting his average to .270.

Lewis settled down after the grand slam, posting two scoreless innings. He retired seven of the last nine batters he faced. Spencer Patton took over to pitch the top of the seventh for the Rangers. With one out, Preston Tucker grounded a Patton offering into left field and stretched the hit into a double. After Gattis struck out, Patton walked Lowrie. Rasmus followed with a two-run double, cutting the Rangers’ lead to three runs. Sam Freeman came out of the bullpen to relieve Patton, and the southpaw retired Valbuena for the third out.

The rest of the game proceeded without any threats, and Texas hung on to win, 12-9. Beltré popped up in the seventh, his final at-bat of the game. Lewis earned the victory and now had a record of 8-1 against the Astros in 14 career games.8

Beltré, in hitting for the 10th cycle in Rangers history,9 became just the fourth player in major-league history to hit for the cycle three times,10 and the first since the 1930s. All three of Beltré’s cycles were at the Rangers’ ballpark.11 He was the third of four major leaguers to hit for the cycle in 2015; Brock Holt of the Boston Red Sox (June 16, against the Atlanta Braves), Beltré’s teammate Choo (July 21, against the Colorado Rockies), and Matt Kemp of the San Diego Padres (August 14, also against Colorado) were the others.

The Rangers’ win on August 3 was their fifth in six games, and a pair of one-run wins in the next two days gave them a three-game sweep. From July 29 through September 25, they won 37 of 54, including eight of eight against the Astros, to grab first place in the AL West. Texas held on to win the division by two games over Houston.12

Beltré was a major part of the Rangers’ stretch drive, batting .325 with a .905 OPS and 62 RBIs in 78 games from July 8 through the end of the regular season. He finished seventh in the AL Most Valuable Player Award voting. Beltré retired after the 2018 season with 3,166 hits, the most of any major-league third baseman; he was a first-ballot Hall of Fame selection in 2024.



This article was fact-checked by Kevin Larkin and copy-edited by Len Levin.

Photo credit: Adrián Beltré, Trading Card Database.



In addition to the sources mentioned in the Notes, the author consulted,, and

Video highlights of Beltré’s historic cycle can be found at A condensed version of the game can be found at



1 Jeff Wilson, “Beltre’s Cycle Sparks Rangers’ Win,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, August 4, 2015: B1. For the 2015 season, the Rangers scored at least six runs per game in 14 of Lewis’s starts, and three to five runs in 12 other starts. Lewis was 15-4 in those 26 games, even though his ERA was well over four runs in each of those categories.

2 Beltré had played the 2008 season with a torn ligament in his left thumb, making it difficult to close his hand on the bat with a heavily-taped thumb, yet the Mariners star still hit for the cycle on September 1, against the Rangers. Beltré played in just nine more games after his 2008 cycle, his season ending in mid-September. For the season, he hit 25 home runs, causing Seattle’s new general manager, Lee Pelekoudas, to remark, “You have to wonder what kind of season he would have had with a healthy thumb.” See Larry LaRue, “Disappointing Season for Beltre Comes to Early End,” Tacoma (Washington) News Tribune, September 15, 2008: C5. Just 17 days after this first cycle, Beltré underwent surgery on his thumb and left shoulder.

3 Jose de Jesus Ortiz, “McCullers given ticket to minors after 1-out outing,” Houston Chronicle, August 4, 2015: C1.

4 This was McCullers’ shortest outing of the season, and his ERA jumped to 3.17. The Astros demoted him to Double A after the game, but he returned to the majors later in August. He finished the season with a 3.22 ERA.

5 On July 30 the Brewers traded Fiers and Gómez to Houston for Josh Hader, Adrian Houser, Brett Phillips and Domingo Santana.

6 De Jesus Ortiz.

7 Mike Lansing holds the record for the fastest cycle; his Colorado Rockies were still batting in the fourth inning of a 19-2 romp over the Arizona Diamondbacks when Lansing garnered his fourth different hit. The last person to hit for the cycle in five innings was Tampa Bay’s Melvin “B.J.” Upton, who accomplished the feat on October 2, 2009 (against the New York Yankees).

8 In his career, Lewis made 17 appearances (14 starts) against the Astros. He compiled a 10-1 record with a 2.51 ERA and 88 strikeouts in 100⅓ innings pitched.

9 Ed Eagle, “Players Who Have Hit for the Cycle,”, accessed April 24, 2024, Jim King hit for the cycle on May 26, 1964, while playing for the Washington Senators. (In 1972 the Senators became the Texas Rangers, so it is counted as the same franchise.) Since 1972, 10 players in Rangers uniforms have hit for the cycle (with Beltré accomplishing it twice).

10 Beltré followed John Reilly (September 12, 1883, September 19, 1883, and August 6, 1890); Bob Meusel (May 7, 1921, July 3, 1922, and July 26, 1928); and Babe Herman (May 18, 1931, July 24, 1931, and September 30, 1933) as the only players to hit for the cycle three times. Since Beltré, two more players have joined the Three-Cycle Club: Trea Turner (April 25, 2017, July 23, 2019, and July 30, 2021) and Christian Yelich (August 29, 2018, September 17, 2018, and May 11, 2022).

11 Beltré’s first cycle came as a member of the Seattle Mariners, but they were playing the Rangers in Arlington, Texas. His second cycle came against the Minnesota Twins.

12 Perhaps the Rangers’ loss to the New York Yankees by a score of 21-5 on July 28 was a turning point. After that blowout, Texas won three in a row and seven of its next eight. The Rangers lost to the Toronto Blue Jays, three games to two, in the AL Division Series. The Astros defeated the New York Yankees in the AL Wild Card Game but lost to the eventual World Series champion Kansas City Royals in the ALDS, three games to two.

Additional Stats

Texas Rangers 12
Houston Astros 9

Globe Life Park
Arlington, TX


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