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April 7, 2013

Beltran lifts Cardinals over Giants

SAN FRANCISCO — Carlos Beltran is a realist. The St. Louis Cardinals’ season has just begun, so there’s not a lot that can be told from one lousy game — like Friday — or one in which the offense clicks up and down the order as it did a day later.

Yet he is pretty sure the latter provides a better glimpse of what this team can be.

Beltran hit a go-ahead two-run single in the fifth against his former team and Shelby Miller beat the reigning World Series champion San Francisco Giants in his second career start, spoiling Buster Posey’s MVP party at AT&T Park with a 6-3 win on Saturday.

“I feel good, man,” Beltran said. “This is a good team, a good lineup. We have guys from top to bottom who can do the job. It’s fun. As a player, you just want to go out there and be part of it.”

Pete Kozma had three hits, drove in a run and scored for St. Louis from the No. 8 spot in the order, Matt Holliday singled in a run and Matt Carpenter added an RBI single in the ninth.

Beltran also hit an RBI single in the first against Ryan Vogelsong (0-1) in a matchup of the teams that won the past three World Series — and a rematch of last fall’s NL championship series won in seven games by the Giants.

Hunter Pence hit a solo homer in the second and Pablo Sandoval homered and hit an RBI single. He also played more strong defense for San Francisco on a day Vogelsong (0-1) struggled to consistently command the strike zone.

Posey received his NL MVP plaque in another highlight-filled pregame ceremony, and the Giants will have yet another day of celebrating before Sunday’s game with the World Series ring presentation.

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