Beltran back in Cards' lineup for NLCS Game 5

Carlos Beltran was back in action for the St. Louis Cardinals during Friday's loss to the San Francisco Giants in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series.

Beltran, who exited Wednesday's Game 3 after one inning with a left knee strain and sat out Thursday's 8-3 victory over the Giants as a result, started in right field and was in his usual No. 2 spot in the St. Louis batting order. He finished 1-for-4 and singled in his first at-bat in the Cardinals' 5-0 defeat.

The veteran switch-hitter suffered the injury while attempting to beat out a double-play grounder in the bottom of the first inning of Game 3. Beltran was replaced by Matt Carpenter, who came through with a two-run homer to help the Cardinals to a 3-1 win on Wednesday.

Beltran has been one of the Cardinals' top performers during this postseason, batting .382 (13-for-34) with three home runs and six RBI in nine games.

St. Louis now owns a 3-2 lead in the NLCS following Friday's loss, with Game 6 set to take place Sunday in San Francisco.