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Beltran held out of lineup with lower back tightness

LOS ANGELES -- Cardinals manager Mike Matheny held right fielder Carlos Beltran out of the lineup on Saturday after Beltran alerted the medical staff that his lower back tightened up on him while cutting off a ball in Friday's game.

Matheny characterized Beltran's back as "about the same" a day after the initial injury. Added Matheny, "[We] need to be careful there."

Sitting Beltran provided an opening for Matheny to start hot-hitting Matt Carpenter, who leads the team with 11 RBIs this month. Carpenter has two home runs in the first five games of this road trip.

As much as Beltran has struggled to gain offensive traction during the second half, his production during the first two games of this series had been encouraging. With two hits and two walks, Beltran reached base in all four plate appearances on Thursday. He had another multi-hit game on Friday.

Beltran had not enjoyed consecutive multi-hit games since July 31-Aug. 1.

LOS ANGELES -- Cardinals manager Mike Matheny held right fielder Carlos Beltran out of the lineup on Saturday after Beltran alerted the medical staff that his lower back tightened up on him while cutting off a ball in Friday's game.

Matheny characterized Beltran's back as "about the same" a day after the initial injury. Added Matheny, "[We] need to be careful there."

Sitting Beltran provided an opening for Matheny to start hot-hitting Matt Carpenter, who leads the team with 11 RBIs this month. Carpenter has two home runs in the first five games of this road trip.

As much as Beltran has struggled to gain offensive traction during the second half, his production during the first two games of this series had been encouraging. With two hits and two walks, Beltran reached base in all four plate appearances on Thursday. He had another multi-hit game on Friday.

Beltran had not enjoyed consecutive multi-hit games since July 31-Aug. 1.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.