Texas enters the third game of its series with Minnesota on Saturday averaging seven runs per game over its last nine. And Beltre has been swinging the biggest bat, most recently collecting his second career cycle as he went 4-for-4 in Friday's 8-0 victory -- only two days removed from his second-career three-home run game. His cycle was the fourth in the Major Leagues this season.
Beltre is hitting .500 (18-for-36) with five home runs and 12 RBIs over his last nine games.
"We want to be hot the whole year," Beltre said. "It's not like we pick spots. Of course, it's probably better if you heat up toward the end of the year. You want to keep swinging the bat good going into the playoffs. I think you just want to be hot the whole year. Nobody goes to the plate wanting to give up an out."
The Twins, meanwhile, are in the midst of a serious slump, with Friday's loss marking their ninth in their last 10 games. The shutout also snapped Minnesota's 54-game streak of scoring at least one run, baseball's longest active such streak.
Minnesota hopes starter Brian Duensing can simmer the Rangers' scalding bats. Duensing didn't dazzle in his first four starts since leaving the bullpen and rejoining the Twins' rotation, going 1-2 with a 4.32 ERA, as he was plagued by pitches left up in the zone.
But he may have found a fix in his last start, in which he held Oakland to one earned run on five hits over six innings on Aug. 20 to snap a personal two-game losing streak.
The difference may have been the 4-0 lead Duensing's teammates spotted him after the top of the second.
"My last start went well," Duensing said. "I had been struggling a lot keeping the ball down. I had been giving up runs early. My team came out early and gave me some run support to take the pressure off. For the most part, I think the thing that helped the most was getting the lead early. I felt good. I was mixing things up, got some strikeouts with some pitches that I don't try to get strikeouts with, to be honest. I thought it went well."
Twins: Diamond will appeal suspension
Pitcher Scott Diamond was suspended for six games by Major League baseball on Friday after throwing over the head of Josh Hamilton on Thursday, though Diamond will appeal the suspension.
The left-hander was ejected after the pitch to Hamilton, a half-inning after Roy Oswalt hit Joe Mauer in the back with a 3-0 fastball. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was also ejected by home-plate umpire Wally Bell moments later.
Diamond's early ejection also brought about another chain reaction, with right-hander Kyle Waldrop being recalled from Triple-A prior to Friday's game to help out a fatigued bullpen. Twins relievers threw 5 2/3 innings of Thursday's game and combined to pitch 14 innings from Monday-Thursday. Minnesota optioned outfielder Matt Carson to Rochester to make room for Waldrop on the 25-man roster.
Rangers: Dempster looks to continue momentum
Ryan Dempster will start for Texas, looking to carry over the dominance from what was by far his best effort since joining the Rangers in his last time out. Dempster limited the Orioles to one run on four hits over eight innings on Aug. 20, striking out six.
Texas has won seven of the eight meetings between the two teams this season.