Beltran returns to lineup to face former team

Beltran returns to lineup to face former team

HOUSTON -- After a scheduled day off and then another to rest a sore leg, Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran returned to the starting lineup on Saturday.

But don't expect a warm reception from Houston fans.

Beltran snubbed the Astros eight years ago, signing instead with the Mets, and the fan base hasn't forgotten still. Beltran pinch-hit in the eighth inning of Friday's game and was met with a resounding chorus of boos.

But one fan of Beltran who is glad to have him back as a teammate is Lance Berkman. The two wore Astros uniforms before being reunited in St. Louis nearly a decade later.

"It's great, just like it was the first time," Berkman said. "He's such a class act and he's a great player. He's a lot of fun to watch. If he's not the smoothest baseball player there is, he's in the top two or three."