(AP) -- Despite having their most productive hitter sidelined because of a stomach virus, the St. Louis Cardinals broke out of their prolonged slump in their last game.
Carlos Beltran is expected to return Friday night for what would be his first game against the visiting Kansas City Royals - the team that drafted him 17 years ago - in the season's first installment of the I-70 Series.
After totaling seven runs in the first five games of their homestand, the Cardinals (33-31) finally showed some signs of life offensively Thursday, beating the Chicago White Sox 5-3. David Freese homered, doubled and drove in three runs, while cleanup hitter Allen Craig doubled twice and scored three times.
St. Louis manager Mike Matheny was encouraged by Freese's performance and hopes it's a sign of things to come.
"You could tell in batting practice that he found something," Matheny said. "He translated that into the game. This is where he needs to be."
Beltran has seemed to have the right appr...