ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals outfielder Carlos Beltran was out of the starting lineup on Thursday, battling what manager Mike Matheny called a stomach virus.
Matheny said Beltran made a trip to the emergency room on Wednesday night after returning home from St. Louis' 1-0 win over the White Sox. Matheny didn't think Beltran spent the night in the hospital, but Beltran made the trip because his condition had worsened as the night went on.
Beltran was almost scratched from the lineup just minutes before Wednesday's game. He was not feeling well but had asked Matheny to wait until game time to see whether he felt any better. Beltran was ultimately a catalyst in the game he almost missed, driving in the only run of the contest with his 19th homer of the year and making a difficult diving catch in right field in the sixth inning.
Matheny said Beltran battling through the virus to help his team win was a great lesson for some of the Cardinals' younger players.
"I made my way down the bench after [Beltran] made that catch and he'd already given us the one-run lead," Matheny said. "I said, 'I want you guys to realize that this guy was so sick we could hardly get him off the table. He begged me to wait an hour to see if he'd feel better and said that he had to play. I love that, and to see them shaking their heads a bit, because that's just a great message."
Matheny said Beltran was still feeling weak on Thursday but could possibly be available to pinch-hit. Matheny added that Beltran's virus is likely contagious, but he didn't consider it necessary to keep Beltran away from his teammates.
"That's just part of the gig," Matheny said. "We're somewhat of a family here, too. You just kind of go through those things."