Carlos Beltran had his second two-homer game in less than a week last night. (Image: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE)

Rants Daily: Carlos Beltran’s big night propels Cardinals past Diamondbacks


For the second time in two weeks, Carlos Beltran collected two homers in the same game. This time he accounted for all six St. Louis Cardinals runs in a 6-1 victory. Beltran’s effort combined with Jake Westbrook‘s seven shutout innings made easy work of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Beltran’s homers came in his first two at-bats, both off Ian Kennedy. He had a two-run shot in the first and then a grand slam in the second. Beltran would be retired his next two times up in his bid to break a week-old career high in RBIs.

Westbrook was dominant in this one. He allowed four singles and two walks while striking out eight batters.  His ground out to fly out ratio was a stellar 2-to-1 on the night. He moved to 4-2 on the season and lowered his ERA to 1.76.

The D’backs lone run was scored in the ninth on a double by Miguel Montero off Mitchell Boggs.

X-RAYS ON MOLINA NEGATIVE

Yadier Molina left last night’s game after getting crossed up by Boggs. Molina was expecting a slider and received a 96-mph fastball instead. He reacted just a bit slow and the ball hit Molina on the wrist of his glove hand. According to MLB.com reporter Jenifer Langosch, x-rays taken after the game showed no fractures. This is the same wrist that was fractured in 2007 which cost Molina a month of baseball.

NOTEWORTHY
  • Beltran now leads the team in Runs (23), HR (10), and RBIs (tied with David Freese with 26).
  • Lance Berkman is set to return from the DL on Friday.
  • Matt Holliday collected two more hits last night raising his average to .258.
  • Skip Schumaker was back at second base last night and recorded two hits and scored a run.
TODAY’S GAME

Kyle Lohse is set to take the mound in the series finale against the Diamondbacks promising lefty Wade Miley. This will be Miley’s first start against the Cardinals.

MY TWO CENTS

For what it’s worth, Carlos Beltran has exceeded the expectations of many so far this season, including his staunchest supporters. He has been productive in all aspects of the game. His power numbers are fantastic and he has shown some of the speed missing the last few seasons with five stolen bases.

If Beltran is able to stay healthy, he could be in for a career year. He has performed well in each spot in the order he’s been placed. I’ve advocated he be in a power position in the lineup, but if he continues to have games like last night from the second spot in the lineup it doesn’t really matter. I still think he is a better fit hitting 3-5, but can we argue with Mike Matheny when its working?

Beltran’s signing was scrutinized, by myself included, mainly because of the health issues of the last few seasons. It has become more and more apparent that last season was not a fluke but the first time in a long time he played a majority of the season in good health and his performance was excellent. He has taken it up a notch so far this season, further demonstrating he has plenty left in the tank when healthy. If he can continue to execute as he’s done so far this season, the Cardinals will have a steal of a deal on their hands.

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Tags: Arizona Diamondbacks Cardinals Carlos Beltran David Freese Ian Kennedy Jake Westbrook Kyle Lohse Lance Berkman Matt Holliday Miguel Montero Mike Matheny Mitchell Boggs Rafael Furcal Skip Schumaker St Louis Cardinals Yadier Molina