(Sports Network) - The desire to give starter Colby Lewis some extra days of rest has led to a debut that Omar Beltre probably feels like he has been waiting forever for.
Beltre's promotion will complete a long road to the majors for the 28-year-old native of the Dominican Republic that was delayed five years due to visa problems.
Texas signed Beltre back in 2000, but he was denied a visa into the United States from 2005-09 because of his involvement in a marriage fraud scandal in his native country. He was finally approved for a visa in February of this year and was able to pitch in spring training. He began the season with Triple-A Oklahoma City and went 0-5 with two saves and a 2.39 earned run average in 15 games (five starts).
"It's been a special thing that's happened to me," Beltre told Texas' website. "I worked really hard, and I'm happy it happened. When you work hard you get good results, and I've been working hard, and this is the fruit of it."
The right-hander is taking the place of Lewis, who is having his start pushed back two days for some extra rest.
Beltre will be trying to draw the Rangers even with the Angels in this series after Los Angeles took last night's opener, 6-5. Bobby Abreu had the big blow for the Angels as he connected on a two-out, three-run double in the sixth inning, when Texas turned a one-run deficit into a lead it would not give up.
"We had them in a two-out situation in the sixth but we couldn't hold them," said Texas manager Ron Washington.
Former Angel Vladimir Guerrero hit a two-run homer in the top of the seventh to pull the Rangers within one, but Texas could not complete the comeback and fell to 2-2 since an 11-game winning streak.
Ian Kinsler also homered in the losing effort, while Josh Hamilton went 1- for-5 and extended his career-best hitting streak to 22 games. Hamilton is hitting .462 (42-for-91) over his surge with nine homers and 29 RBI, and he also set a club record for the most hits in a month with 48.
Mike Napoli homered while Howie Kendrick and Jeff Mathis both notched an RBI in the victory, the Angels' eighth in their last 11 games, moving them within 3 1/2 games of the first-place Rangers in the American League West. Joel Pineiro won his fifth straight start and yielded three runs on eight hits over six innings.
"I didn't have my best command tonight, but we got some big outs when we needed them," said Pineiro.
The Angels' Scott Kazmir will look to rebound tonight after having his four- start winning streak broken last time out.
The 26-year-old lefty pitched to a 2.35 ERA over his win streak, but was drilled for five runs on six hits and three walks over 3 2/3 innings of a 10-6 setback to the Dodgers on Thursday. Kazmir fell to 7-6 on the season with a 5.42 ERA.
Kazmir lost to the Rangers on May 17, giving up four runs over seven innings, but is still a solid 6-2 versus them lifetime with a 2.37 ERA in 11 starts.
The Rangers swept a brief two-game series in Texas over the Angels on May 17-18 and split the 10 meetings in Anaheim a season ago.