St. Louis Cardinals' Carlos Beltran hits a single off Boston Red Sox starting pitcher John Lackey during the first inning of Game 2 of baseball's World Series Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Thursday, October 24, 2013 11:27 pm
Beltran shakes off bruised ribs, helps win Game 2
By HOWARD ULMANAP Sports Writer
The 16-year veteran singled in a run to help the St. Louis Cardinals even the Series with a 4-2 win over the Boston Red Sox on Thursday night.
Beltran had left the opener after bruising his ribs in the second inning but was back in the starting lineup for Game 2.
He singled in the first inning, then singled again to drive in the final run in the three-run seventh when St. Louis capitalized on fielding blunders by Boston to erase a 2-1 deficit.
And he was on the field when Trevor Rosenthal struck out pinch-hitter Daniel Nava to end the game. Beltran trotted toward center fielder John Jay and left fielder Matt Holliday. They slapped hands and congratulated each other.
The Series resumes in St. Louis on Saturday after a day off with Joe Kelly pitching for St. Louis against Jake Peavy.
Throughout his career, Beltran has displayed an impressive combination of batting, power and speed. In 2,064 regular-season games, he has a .283 batting average, 358 homers and 308 steals. That earned him eight All-Star game selections.
But in 45 postseason games, he had never reached the World Series.
The 36-year-old struck out in the first inning in Game 1 then robbed David Ortiz of a grand slam in the second when he reached into the St. Louis bullpen to make the catch. But he hit the low-right field wall with his right side and left in the bottom of the third with bruised ribs. He was taken to a hospital for X-rays and a CT scan, which were negative.
About three hours before the game, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny wasn't sure if Beltran would play, saying, "He's probably about 10, 15 minutes away from being able to get into the cage and get some more swings in, and we'll have a better idea then."