(BaseballStL) -- After an inauspicious start, Carlos Beltran's first World Series took a turn for the positive Thursday night.
Game 2 saw not only his first hit, but his first RBI in the Fall Classic. Such good fortune seemed far-fetched after Beltran exited Game 1 for x-rays on his wounded ribs.
"When I left the ballpark yesterday I had very little hope that I was going to be in the lineup with the way I felt," the 36-year-old outfielder said after Game 2. "When I woke up, I woke up feeling a little better. And I came to the ballpark, talked to the trainer. I was able to get treatment and talk to the doctors."
Beltran received a shot of Toradol before the game to numb his chest pain, and took batting practice once he felt up to the task.
"We were all kind of sitting around waiting to see how things would turn out today. We didn't know how he was going to feel," said manager Mike Matheny.
The painkiller did its job, and Beltran was able to take cuts without prohibitive pain.
"I felt like I was swinging the bat okay ‑ not good, but good enough to be able to go out there and be with the guys," he said.
As it turns out, Beltran felt well enough to record two hits and drive in an insurance run in the equalizing contest. He now has a day to rest as the series moves back to St. Louis for Game 3.
"I know for sure tomorrow I'm going to feel sore," he said. "The good thing is tomorrow I have the day off, and I've got the opportunity to get treatment, and hopefully Saturday I feel better than what I feel today."
For a ballplayer with Beltran's miles, any injury can spell trouble- especially in cold weather. With nagging soreness following him for most of the season, the Cardinal right fielder has an honesty-first policy with his manager. Matheny said Thursday he trust Beltran's assessments of his own health, and will look to the veteran when the decision for the next start comes around.
"Carlos is such a pro, you know. He knows how to handle when he doesn't feel completely a hundred percent, which he probably hasn't felt since February," Matheny said. "But he's the kind of guy that knows how to make the best of what he has."
What he has now is his first mark in the World Series record books and a day off to recuperate.