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.
Astros starter Justin Verlander wasn’t his usual dominant self on Sunday against the Athletics, but he was good enough to get the win. In doing so, he earned the 200th win of his career, becoming the 117th member of the 200-win club.
Verlander went 5 1/3 innings, yielding four runs (all earned) on seven hits and a walk with six strikeouts. On the season, Verlander is now 12-8 with a 2.65 ERA and a 223/29 K/BB ratio in 169 2/3 innings. Sunday’s win helped the Astros stave off the surging A’s. The Astros now have a one-game lead in the AL West.
Only two active pitchers have more wins than Verlander: Bartolo Colon (247) and CC Sabathia (244). Zack Greinke will likely be the next member of the 200-win club as he currently has 184 to his name.