Beltran in center field for first time in a month

Beltran in center field for first time in a month

Beltran in center field for first time in a month
MILWAUKEE -- Carlos Beltran was back in the lineup for the Cardinals on Tuesday after manager Mike Matheny gave him a day off to rest following his participation in the All-Star Game and the three-game series in Cincinnati.

Matheny said Beltran was "in a better place" following the day off, so much so that he felt comfortable starting the 35-year-old in center field for just the third time this season and first time since June 17.

With left-hander Randy Wolf taking the mound for the Brewers, Matheny said it was a good time to put Beltran in center, opening up right field for Matt Carpenter.

"He's been there before," Matheny said. "He's been there a lot -- not necessarily with us -- but I'm just trying to figure out what's our best lineup."

Playing right field most of the season, Beltran was "moving around better" on Monday, said Matheny, who added that he has to handle the veteran outfielder and his knees that have bothered him for years on a day-to-day basis.

"Some days it's good, some days it's not," Matheny said. "There's not necessarily a reason or something that happened the day before. When he comes in, he'll let me know when something isn't quite right. On those days when he's feeling better, then we try to maximize."

Tuesday was one of those days, and Matheny said he wasn't worried about Beltran's ability to handle whatever might come his way in center field.

"To me, he's done a nice job in the outfield and he's been doing a good job helping out the other outfielders," Matheny said. "They're all working together, so he'll do a nice job of quarterbacking out there."

For Beltran, though, his time in center field was short-lived. Left fielder Matt Holliday got hit on his left thigh with a pitch and left the game after the first inning. Jon Jay entered the game and played center, with Beltran moving to right and Carpenter shifting to left.