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Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Beltran goes 1-for-2, scores in ASG

By Adam Rubin

In what was his fifth and likely final All-Star Game as a Met, Carlos Beltran went 1-for-2 as the National League's starting DH.

Beltran struck out on a 76 mph changeup against Jered Weaver in the first inning. In the fourth, he sent a ball into the hole against C.J. Wilson that was fielded by shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera for an infield single. Beltran proceeded to score the National League's opening run on Prince Fielder's ensuing three-run homer.

"Only two at-bats," Beltran said. "I was trying to stay loose in the cage, moving myself around."

During the pregame on Fox, San Francisco closer Brian Wilson read the NL lineup and introduced Beltran as a player the Giants need to acquire. Beltran had traveled to the All-Star game with the San Francisco contingent.

"I didn't see that. I didn't hear that, either," Beltran said. "I mean, I know there's been a lot of rumors -- different cities. They always say I might end up in this city, in that city. But right now I'm part of the New York Mets, and we're playing good baseball."

Where will Beltran be in a month?

"Where? I hope so in New York," Beltran replied. "I hope we continue to play good baseball. But, at the same time, if the team starts not playing good baseball, something might happen -- not only with me, but with a few of the other guys, like Francisco (Rodriguez). They have mentioned Jose Reyes. But right now we cannot worry about that. We need to continue to play the game hard and focus on trying to win ballgames."

Beltran has played more games than any other Met this season. Could he have foreseen being able to hustle down the line without limitation as he did in beating out the fourth-inning hit in the All-Star Game?

"All the work that I put into the offseason, it was encouraging for me. I was able to do a lot of strengthening," Beltran said. "When I went to spring training, I was feeling very confident that everything was going to be fine."

As for the strikeout against Weaver, Beltran said: "He threw me a first-pitch changeup. I was looking for a fastball, for sure. I guess he wasn't thinking the same thing I was thinking. He threw me a changeup, curveball, fastball, fastball, and then changeup on the 2-2 count. He's a good pitcher. That's why he was able to start for the American League."

Beltran continued to be grateful for his All-Star selection by NL manager Bruce Bochy.

"It feels like a gift from God, honestly, even though Bochy was the one who picked me," Beltran said. "It feels like all the work, all the effort to try to put myself back into the field has paid off."