Carlos Beltran limped to the trainer's room, taking the St. Louis Cardinals' biggest clutch October bat with him.
Turns out they had the perfect substitute.
Matt Carpenter hit a two-run homer after subbing for Beltran and the Cardinals chased Matt Cain before a 3 1/2-hour rain delay in the seventh inning of a 3-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night for a 2-1 NL championship series lead.
Beltran strained his left knee running out a double-play ball in the first innings and the Cardinals said he was day to day.
Kyle Lohse worked around a season-worst five walks in 5 2-3 innings. Mitchell Boggs struck out Hunter Pence and Brandon Belt with two on to end the seventh. Jason Motte earned the first two-inning save of his career to reward what remained of a sellout crowd of 45,850 - perhaps a third - that stuck around for a game that lasted 3 hours, 2 minutes, about a half-hour shorter than the delay.
''They said if we didn't score I was going t...