Cardinals pregame notes: Carlos Beltran good to go; Allen Craig feels fine

October 24, 2013 - 4:00 pm

Turns out, Carlos Beltran will get another shot at World Series glory. The St. Louis right fielder exited Game 1 after just two innings due to a rib bruise suffered when he crashed into the short right-field fence while hauling in a would-be grand slam by David Ortiz. But after a CT scan and X-rays came back negative, and Beltran felt able enough after warmups and batting practice, he was penciled into the Cardinals lineup in right and batting second. Beltran getting clearance to play isn'€™t necessarily an easy task, however. '€œFirst you have to get medical clearance '€¦ but a lot of it is going to be how much he can tolerate, and if it starts to affect the way he can do his job,'€ Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. '€œAnd if it gets in the way, then we'€™re not going to be able to play him.'€ Beltran, a veteran of 16 major league seasons playing in his first Fall Classic, struck out in his only at-bat Wednesday. OTHER CARDINALS NOTES          -- Allen Craig, who served as the St. Louis designated hitter in Game 1 in his return from a foot injury that kept him out nearly two months, responded fine physically, according to Matheny. '€œHe'€™s been challenged here to move pretty fast in this rehab process, right toward the end,'€ Matheny said. '€œBut I thought he took good at-bats, looked like he was seeing the ball pretty well, and didn'€™t see a lot of apprehension. But he'€™s still going to be guarded a little bit.'€ Matheny called putting Craig in the outfield '€” in the event Beltran'€™s situation worsens '€” a '€œtall order.'€ -- The Cardinals, much like the Red Sox, were much better at home (54-27) than on the road (43-38), and even though they don'€™t want to look past Game 2, Jon Jay and Shane Robinson '€” pseudo-platoonmates for the time being '€” agreed it will be nice to get back to Busch Stadium on Saturday. '€œIt'€™s just a thing that it'€™s a comfort level,'€ Jay said. '€œYou have your fans and you'€™re familiar with the routine. It'€™s one of those things where we need to take care of business tonight.'€ Added Robinson: '€œEveryone is familiar with our home stomping grounds. You get the fans cheering for you. Obviously it makes it a little bit easier to play in your hometown. I think that'€™s a big reason why we were successful toward the end.'€