Beltran powers Cardinals over his ex-KC club

Carlos Beltran drove in four as St. Louis defeated his first team, the Kansas City Royals, Friday night.



Outfielder Carlos Beltran, a designated hitter on Friday, returned to Kansas City as a player for the first time since he was traded to Houston in 2004. He responded by doubling home two runs in the first innings and again in the second inning, sparking the Cardinals to an 11-4 win over the Royals.

"I was excited just to be back," Beltran said. "This was my home for 6 1/2 years."

Center fielder Jon Jay and utility man Matt Carpenter returned to the roster after missing the last month with shoulder and oblique injuries, respectively. Jay reached base in each of his first two plate appearances, scored both times and made two outstanding defensive plays. Carpenter, who was 0-for-14 on his rehabilitation assignment before getting three hits in his final game, continued that run with two hits and an RBI on Friday.

They contributed to an offense that had nine hits in 18 at-bats with men in scoring position Friday after not getting a hit with men in scoring position Thursday. The Cardinals scored 10 runs on 10 hits in the first two innings Friday, when they were 8-for-13 with runners in scoring position. Every starter had at least one hit.

Right-handed rookie Joe Kelly, after an uneven first inning, didn't walk anybody after he was staked to a big lead. He scored his first big-league victory in his third start, pitching six innings and giving up three runs.

"I don't think he was as sharp as he's been," manager Mike Matheny said. "He did a nice job of holding himself together."

Matheny said Kelly, like many young pitchers, needed to work ahead in the count more. But he added, "There's no question he has big-league stuff. He could be around here for a long time."

The win was the Cardinals' first in their last eight Friday games and their first victory in their last seven series-opening games. They have dropped to .500 five times but have won the next game every time.

"It was good to get things back in order," Matheny said.


RHP Chris Carpenter, gradually strengthening a weak shoulder that has kept him out all season, threw to hitters for the first time since mid-March and left open the possibility of embarking on a rehab assignment soon. Carpenter, who threw 34 pitches to seven hitters at Kauffman Stadium, is scheduled to throw to hitters again Monday in Miami.

"I was excited about being out there," he said. "I was probably overthrowing a little bit at times. My command wasn't exactly what I wished for, but then again, it is my first throw to hitters since spring training."

1B Matt Adams, who had a fast start but then leveled off to .244 after coming up from Class AAA Memphis, and little-used OF Adron Chambers were sent back to Memphis with the activation of CF Jon Jay and INF/OF Matt Carpenter from the disabled list. Chambers hit .250 in 42 at-bats over 23 games.

RHP Joe Kelly, in the course of scoring his first major league win Friday, took a first-inning shot from Kansas City DH Billy Butler off his thigh. "It tingled a little bit," said Kelly, who stayed in the game and worked six innings, giving up nine hits and three runs.

LF Matt Holliday and 3B David Freese each had three of the Cardinals' 17 hits Friday. The Cardinals had six doubles but no homers, marking the fourth straight game in which they haven't hit a home run.

OF/1B Allen Craig sat out Friday after going 1-for-12 in the Detroit series. He also had a chance to rest his jammed left wrist he suffered on Wednesday. He played Thursday and went 0-for-5.

By the Numbers:

7 - Stolen bases for C Yadier Molina, who is third on the club. He had nine in 2009 and eight in 2010.

Quote to Note:

"I just want it to be the first of many."

- RHP Joe Kelly, who posted his first major league win.


CF Jon Jay (separated right shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list May 15. He began a rehab assignment with Class AAA Memphis on June 19, and he was activated June 22.

INF Matt Carpenter (strained right oblique) went on the 15-day disabled list May 23. He began a rehab assignment with Class AAA Memphis in mid-June, then moved to Class AA Springfield on June 18. He was activated June 22.

LHP Jaime Garcia (left shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 6. After further examination, it was determined that he has tearing in his rotator cuff. He won't throw until at least late July and is out until at least mid-August.

1B Lance Berkman (torn meniscus in right knee) went on the 15-day disabled list May 20. He had arthroscopic surgery May 25, and no ACL damage was found. He might return in mid-to-late July.

RHP Kyle McClellan (strained right ulnar collateral ligament) went on the 15-day disabled list May 18. He won't need surgery but likely will be sidelined until at least late July.

RHP Chris Carpenter (weak right shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 26, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 10. He threw for the first time since March on June 13 and then threw another 40 pitches on June 15. He threw to hitters for the first time June 22, and he might be ready to start a rehab assignment in late June or early July.

Link to boxscore: St. Louis 11 at Kansas City 4

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