Beltran in the lineup for second straight game

Beltran in the lineup for second straight game

LOS ANGELES -- Carlos Beltran gave his manager the "OK" on Saturday, which is all Mike Matheny needed to insert Beltran back into the Cardinals starting lineup for a second straight day.

Starting for the first time in five days, Beltran played eight innings on Friday against the Dodgers and complained of no substantial right knee soreness afterward. His status truly remains day to day, meaning that, at least for the immediate future, Matheny will continue to chat daily with Beltran before writing out a lineup.

Matheny dissented when asked whether the club was willing to make some compromise on defense in order to get Beltran's bat in the lineup. Matheny said Beltran "looked normal" after some initial hesitancy chasing down the first ball that came his way in the outfield on Friday. Others, however, weren't convinced that Beltran ran at full speed.

Regardless, it seems as if the Cardinals will continue to play Beltran unless he becomes a liability in the field or risks doing more damage to his already surgically repaired right knee.

Beltran went 2-for-4 on Friday. And despite missing time recently, he still leads the National League with eight homers and 21 RBIs in May.