Batting from cleanup spot, Beltran drives in run

Batting from cleanup spot, Beltran drives in run

CHICAGO -- With regular cleanup hitter Lance Berkman on the disabled list, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has continued to pencil outfielder Carlos Beltran into the four-hole.

The veteran outfielder, who was hitless in a 3-2 loss Monday but drove in a run, has hit well in the run-producing spot, finished the day hitting .235 with a home run and four RBIs as the cleanup hitter.

Although four of Beltran's five homers this year have come from the two-hole, Matheny said the switch-hitter -- now in his 15th season -- has proven throughout his career he's capable of batting fourth.

"You have a long history of being able to put tough at-bats together in tough situations, you deserve an opportunity to be in that spot. So, to me, he's a good fit there," Matheny said.

Matheny also added that, while he thinks he has other hitters who could bat cleanup, he'd prefer not to mess with combination of David Freese and Yadier Molina batting fifth and sixth, respectively.