Rangers’ Beltre leaves playoff game with stiff back

(AP) — Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre left Thursday’s AL Division Series opener against the Toronto Blue Jays in the third inning after hurting his back on a slide.

Beltre could hardly run to first base after hitting an RBI single in the top half of the inning, and received attention from the trainer at first base.

After Prince Fielder’s inning-ending groundout, Beltre tried jogging to his position at third base but came out of the game, in obvious pain. Beltre appeared to be wiping away tears as he was helped off the field and into the dugout. He was replaced by Hanser Alberto.

Rangers spokesman John Blake said Beltre had lower back stiffness caused by a slide into second base as Prince Fielder hit into an inning-ending double play in the first.

Beltre hit .287 with 18 homers and 87 RBIs this season. His two-out single in the third gave the Rangers a 2-0 lead over David Price and the Blue Jays.

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