Carlos Beltran out of lineup with knee injury, but available off bench

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Carlos Beltran had hoped to be back in the Cardinals’ lineup after leaving last night’s game with a strained left knee, but manager Mike Matheny just told reporters that the veteran right fielder is “too sore” to start Game 4 against the Giants.

Matheny did say that Beltran will be available off the bench as a pinch-hitter and even at less than full strength the guy with the highest OPS in playoff history is a nice little weapon to have for the late innings.

Matt Carpenter replaced Beltran in right field last night, but today he’ll start at first base with Allen Craig shifting to right field.

Nelson Cruz hits 400th career home run

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Twins DH Nelson Cruz hit his 400th career home run, a solo home run in the fourth inning of Sunday’s game against the Royals. The blast padded the Twins’ lead to 8-6, and was also No. 40 on the season for Cruz.

Cruz, 39, is the 57th member of the 400-homer club. He was previously tied with Andres Galarraga and Al Kaline at 399. Cruz has hit 163 of his homers with the Mariners, 157 with the Rangers, and 40 each with the Orioles and Twins.

Cruz entered Sunday batting .300/.383/.624 with 104 RBI in 500 plate appearances. Pretty good production for the Twins from a slugger on a one-year, $14.3 million contract. The Twins hold a $12 million club option for 2020 as well.