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World Series notebook: Beltran starts despite sore ribs

The SportsXchange

BOSTON -- Carlos Beltran was back in the St. Louis Cardinals' lineup Thursday night for Game 2 of the World Series.

The veteran right fielder left Game 1 on Wednesday night in the third inning with a bruised right ribcage. He was hurt when he slammed into the right field wall at Fenway Park while robbing Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz of a grand slam. The Red Sox won the game 8-1.

Beltran was cleared to play after taking swings in an indoor batting cage about three hours before Thursday's game. On Wednesday night, he underwent X-rays and a CT scan, both of which were negative.

How the injury affects Beltran for the rest of the series remains to be seen.

"A lot of it is going to be how much (pain) he can tolerate and if it starts to affect the way he can do his job," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.

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Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester denied allegations that he had an illegal substance in his glove when he threw 7 2/3 shutout innings to win Game 1.

Photographs and video circulated around the Internet Wednesday night and into Thursday that showed a green substance on Lester's glove.

"I saw the picture, and I don't know what that is," Lester said. "It looks like a giant booger, almost. I don't know how that came about, with the lighting or whatever, I don't know. Like I said, it's rosin. I guess with sweat and licking your fingers and rubbing your fingers in there it may turn a different color. I don't know. I don't pay attention to that stuff when I'm pitching."

MLB issued a statement that read: "We cannot draw any conclusions from this video. There were no complaints from the Cardinals and the umpires never detected anything indicating a foreign substance throughout the game."

Matheny concurred that the accusation did not come from his team, adding, "It's pretty much a dead issue."

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Allen Craig, normally the Cardinals' starting first baseman, was in the lineup again as the designated hitter for Game 2 after going 1-for-4 in Game 1. Wednesday's game marked his first action since Sept. 4, as he was out due to a Lisfranc sprain in his left foot.

The DH rule is not in affect in National League parks, meaning Craig either would have to play in the field in Games 3-5 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis from Saturday through Monday or be relegated to pinch-hitting duty. The chances of Craig being able to play first base seem slim.

"He's been challenged here to move pretty fast in this rehab process, right towards the end," Matheny said. "I thought he took good at-bats, looked like he was seeing the ball pretty well, and (I) didn't see a lot of apprehension. He's still going to be guarded a little bit, but everything came out pretty good."

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NOTES: UT Daniel Descalso started at shortstop for the Cardinals in place of Pete Kozma, who made two errors in Game 1. ... Five-time Grammy-winning singer/songwriter James Taylor sang the national anthem. ... For Game 3 on Saturday night, Boston RHP Jake Peavy (12-5, 4.17 regular season; 0-1, 8.31 postseason) will face Cardinals RHP Joe Kelly (10-5, 2.69; 0-1, 4.41).
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