- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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Beltre made it through a Cactus League game with no problems Monday, playing five innings in a 5-4 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. His spring debut was delayed due to a Grade I calf strain suffered days before camp opened.
Beltre, who was the Rangers' prized offseason acquisition, played third base and batted cleanup. He went 1-for-3 with a single to shallow left-center field. He did not have any chances in the field.
"I felt a little bit rusty," said Beltre, who signed a contract that guarantees him $80 million over five seasons and has a vesting option for a sixth season at $16 million. "I felt just a bit off, but it's not surprising."
The most encouraging play of the afternoon for Beltre, who hit .321 with 28 home runs and 102 RBIs for the Boston Red Sox last season, was actually a groundout. He almost beat the throw after Dodgers shortstop Jamey Carroll made a diving stop in the hole.
Beltre felt no pain while running full speed, although he joked that it felt as if somebody was pulling him from behind.
"We saw that his calf was fine," manager Ron Washington said. "It was a good day. I'm glad that he got off the field healthy."
Beltre will have an off day Tuesday, which was planned in advance. After that, Washington has mapped out the following schedule for Beltre: two consecutive games, a day off, three consecutive games and another day off.
Tim MacMahon is a reporter and columnist for ESPNDallas.com. Luis Perez of ESPN Deportes 1540 in Dallas contributed to this report.
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