Carlos Beltran out Sunday with lower back tightness

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Cardinals manager Mike Matheny told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com that veteran outfielder Carlos Beltran began experiencing tightness in his lower back near the end of Saturday’s loss to the Pirates and will not be in the starting lineup for Sunday afternoon’s series finale at PNC Park.

The back tightness is not a serious concern.

Beltran is batting .310/.343/.522 with 23 home runs and 71 RBI in 122 games this season. He owns an .853 OPS (132 OPS+), 55 home runs and 168 RBI in 273 games since agreeing to a bargain two-year, $26 million contract before the start of the 2012 campaign.

The Cardinals currently trail the Pirates by one game in the National League Central standings.

Jose Reyes is hitless in 20 plate appearances to start the season

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Mets backup infielder Jose Reyes pinch-hit and popped up in the top of the eighth inning of Thursday night’s game in Atlanta against the Braves. That ran his streak up to 20 consecutive hitless plate appearances to start the 2018 season. He has reached base once, however, on a walk, so there’s that.

Reyes, 34, signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Mets near the end of January. At the time, the Mets hadn’t yet signed Todd Frazier, so Reyes was in the mix to contribute as a utilityman but he has operated as a bat off the bench for the most part this season.

One wonders how much longer the Mets are going to let Reyes flounder. According to FanGraphs, he has already been worth a half-win less than a replacement-level player. Only eight other players have been as bad or worse this season.