Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 5/12/12

Right fielder Carlos Beltran did all he could for the St. Louis Cardinals Friday night. Enjoying

his third two-homer night in the last couple of weeks, Beltran added a triple and a double

but the Cardinals fizzled away bases-loaded situations in both the 10th and 11th innings

before succumbing to the Atlanta Braves, 9-7, in 12 innings.

Beltran's two-homer game -- he drove in four runs -- was the 33rd of his career. Both

were hit right-handed, including a 454-foot shot into Big Mac Land at Busch Stadium. He

has nine homers left-handed and three right-handed and, with 31 runs batted in, he said he

felt good at the plate from both sides.

"It happens a couple of times during the season when you feel that way," Beltran said.

"I guess right now I'm going through one.

"Today I had a good day, but it doesn't mean anything."

Manager Mike Matheny said, "He tried to throw it all on his shoulders and he almost did

it."

Matheny raised some eyebrows when he had catcher Yadier Molina sacrifice with runners

at first and second and nobody out in the 10th inning. Matheny said he wanted to stay out

of the double play and Molina executed the bunt successfully.

Rookie Matt Carpenter, who earlier had hit his second home run, was walked

intentionally, to Matheny's surprise. But, with the bases loaded, he still had David

Freese, one of his best clutch batsmen, available as a pinch hitter. Freese, however,

grounded into a double play.

"I like that opportunity with David," said Matheny. "(The bunt) is a play that we'll do

again tomorrow. It's a good play.

"When you get an opportunity to get people over, you do that. It's fundamental

baseball. Every once in a while, we'll make a different play but for the most part in that

situation we're going to bunt."

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