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Sat, Jun 23, 2012 - 2:10 PM ET
 

Cardinals-Royals Preview

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Carlos Beltran gave Kansas City Royals fans a glimpse into the past with a stellar performance in his return to Kauffman Stadium.

In fact, he's been downright unkind to his former team this season.

Beltran looks to help the St. Louis Cardinals' offense stay hot in the continuation of the I-70 Series on Saturday.

Nearly eight years to the day after the Royals traded the outfielder to Houston, Beltran had a pair of two-run doubles in the Cardinals' 11-4 victory Friday in his first game in Kansas City since the trade.

Beltran, who is a .299 career hitter at Kauffman Stadium, was the 1999 AL rookie of the year and had four seasons of at least 100 RBIs with the Royals.

"You know what? It was good to be back,'' Beltran said. "But it was better to put a good couple of swings together and get some runs.''

Every starter had a hit for the Cardinals (36-35), who had totaled 10 runs while losing three of their previous four.

"We needed to get our offense off to a good start and get rolling,'' manager Mike Matheny said, "but that's not the kind of offense you're going to get every time.''

Beltran is 8 for 19 in four games this season versus the Royals (31-37), who lost for only the third time in their last 10 contests.

Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez went 2 for 4 with a two-run homer in his first game this season after having right knee surgery March 16.

"Yeah, we kind of ruined his welcome-home party with that game,'' manager Ned Yost said.

Kansas City will look to bounce back against Adam Wainwright.

Wainwright (5-7, 4.46 ERA) has looked little like the 20-game winner he was last season, though he's improved of late. He's 1-1 with a 2.75 ERA over his last three starts after allowing one run over seven innings of St. Louis' 5-3, 15-inning loss to the Royals on Sunday.

"He deserved better," Matheny told the team's official website.

The right-hander is 2-1 with a 3.21 ERA in four career starts against Kansas City, which learned before Friday's game Felipe Paulino likely will have reconstructive surgery on his right elbow.

Paulino will join Danny Duffy, Joakim Soria and Blake Wood as Royals pitchers to undergo Tommy John surgery this season.

"Obviously, it's changed our plans for the rest of the year,'' Yost said. "You've got to move on. What's happened has happened. It was a big blow when we lost Duffy. It was a big blow when we lost Soria and Blake Wood the same way. But the world doesn't stop turning.

"It gives somebody an opportunity that they might not have had otherwise to show what they can do.''

Luis Mendoza, who opposed Wainwright in his last start, will take the mound again Saturday.

Mendoza (2-3, 4.69) allowed two runs in six innings Sunday in his second start since returning to the rotation. He allowed three runs over 12 innings in those outings after going 1-2 with a 6.08 ERA in his first five starts in 2012.

The right-hander has a 3.57 ERA in three career interleague starts, all of which have come this season.

Tagged: Royals, Cardinals, Carlos Beltran, Adam Wainwright, Blake Wood

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