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Beltran's focus on reaching base, not hitting homers

Beltran's focus on reaching base, not hitting homers

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Beltran's focus on reaching base, not hitting homers

ST. LOUIS -- After hitting his 19th homer of the season on June 30, it took Carlos Beltran 105 at-bats before he connected for another. But while his home run drought -- which lasted until he went deep in the eighth inning on Tuesday -- may have provided discussion fodder for some, Beltran insists that it never really occupied his thoughts.

"To me, it's not [a big deal]," Beltran said. "What is important to me is just to get on base. I don't go to the plate thinking that I need to hit the ball out of the ballpark. That's not who I am. I won't change."

Even with the recent sap in power numbers, Beltran leads the club with his 20 homers, and reaching that mark puts him in rare active company. Securing the 11th 20-homer season of his 16-year career, he is one of only 11 active players to accrue that many such seasons. Only five -- Alex Rodriguez (15), Manny Ramirez (14), Paul Konerko (13), David Ortiz (12) and Albert Pujols (12) -- have had more.

Already fifth all-time with 354 homers as a switch-hitter, Beltran has another benchmark in sight. With 12 more homers, he would match former teammate Lance Berkman on that list.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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