- Associated Press - Thursday, September 1, 2011

ARLINGTON, TEXAS (AP) - All-Star third baseman Adrian Beltre was activated from the disabled list by the Texas Rangers on Thursday, when the AL West leaders also made several other moves.

Andres Blanco was reinstated from the 15-day DL, and Texas added catcher Matt Treanor and left-handed reliever Mike Gonzalez to its active roster after acquiring them in trades a day earlier.

Beltre was in the fifth slot in Ron Washington’s starting lineup for Thursday night’s series finale against Tampa Bay. The Rangers manager was pleased to have the slugger back, especially with team home run leader Nelson Cruz having gone on the 15-day disabled list earlier this week with a strained left hamstring.

“Wow. It means a lot, just his presence,” Washington said. “Not that we expect him to come in here and be back in the groove he was in before he got hurt. But his presence, a threat.”

Beltre hit .276 with 20 homers and 76 RBIs in 100 games before he strained his left hamstring running the bases against Toronto on July 22.

The primary concern for Beltre will be avoiding another hamstring problem, and to that end the Rangers want him to be careful on the basepaths.

“We’ve already told him that if you hit a double, you don’t think you can make it, stop at first,” Washington said. “If there’s a ball hit and you can’t go first to third, don’t go. If there’s a base hit and you’re on second and you don’t feel like you can score, don’t score. You’ve got to be smart, You know how your legs are feeling, how fast you’re moving, you have an inner clock that can tell you if you can or can’t.”

Beltre is an ultra-competitive athlete, but he knows he must use caution, especially when he’s on base.

“I’m trying to be smart,” he said. “I have to. There’s not a choice. I can’t afford to injure that leg again.”

Washington said Beltre would be back in the cleanup spot soon, but he wanted to take the pressure off Beltre in his first game back.

Blanco, a utility infielder, has been on the DL twice since July because of lower back issues.

Texas, which now has 30 players on its major league roster, also completed its trade for Gonzalez when the Orioles acquired right-hander Pedro Strop on a waiver claim.

In other moves on the day that major league rosters could expand to 40 players, the Rangers purchased the contracts of infielder Esteban German and right-hander Merkin Valdez from Triple-A Round Rock. Infielder Omar Quintanilla was outrighted to Round Rock, which opens the Pacific Coast League playoffs next week.

Beltre was 2 for 8 in two games on an injury rehab assignment for Round Rock this week. He was out of the Rangers lineup twice as long as expected after he re-aggravated his injury during a running session last month.

Blanco was placed on the disabled list Aug. 9 with lower back inflammation, and was also on the DL July 7-30 with a stress reaction in his lower back. Blanco batted .206 with two homers in 28 games for the Rangers this season.

The Rangers reacquired Treanor, a catcher for their AL pennant-winning team last season, from Kansas City for cash. He missed all of August for the Royals after being placed on the concussion disabled list.

Gonzalez was 2-2 with a 4.27 ERA in 49 relief appearances this season for Baltimore. The left-hander made 13 consecutive scoreless appearances since July 22, allowing only five hits over 12 1-3 innings in that span.

Gonzalez, who grew up in Corpus Christi, is anxious to pitch in big games in September in his home state after a lost season in Baltimore.

“You go from worst to first, it’s obviously a great opportunity,” Gonzalez said. “I can’t be more excited.”

Strop was 4-4 with 11 saves and a 3.59 ERA in 39 relief appearances for Round Rock this season. He was 0-1 with a 3.72 ERA in 11 games with Texas before being optioned to the minors May 4.

German hit .301 in 123 games for Round Rock. Valdez signed a minor league contract with the Rangers on July 24, and was 1-0 with four saves and a 2.35 ERA in 12 relief appearance for the Express.

Quintanilla cleared waivers and was outrighted off the 40-man roster.

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