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09/02/08 9:16 PM ET

After collision, Beltran comes up big

Slugger homers Tuesday after previous night's early exit

MILWAUKEE -- The lineup was posted on the clubhouse wall relatively early as if doubt never had existed. In the fourth position in the Mets' batting order was the name that had been in the same position for 108 of the team's first 138 games -- Carlos Beltran. The Mets were as close to full strength as their disabled list would allow as they engaged the Brewers on Tuesday.

The pinch Beltran felt behind his right knee on Monday afternoon was not an issue, as the Brewers' doctors and the Mets' trainers had predicted. And just as well for the Mets. Beltran walked and scored in the second inning and hit a three-run home run in the third to provide a 5-1 lead for the Mets and rookie starter Jonathan Niese.

Beltran had tested the leg in the outfield before batting practice and found the sense of instability he had experienced Monday was no longer, so he was in the batting order against left-handed Manny Parra.

Beltran had slid into the plate in the eighth inning of the Mets' 4-2 victory Monday. There was no play on him -- a throw to the plate on Ryan Church's double was cut off -- but there was a collision. The Mets center fielder's slide had the effect of a soccer tackle. It took out home-plate umpire Ed Rapuano. His left leg under his right, Beltran felt his right leg fold under him after his right foot crashed into Rapuano's shinguard. The the back of his right foot was against his rump. And he felt a pinch behind his knee.

He played the outfield in the bottom of the inning but thought his leg was unstable. Beltran was removed from the game for what the Mets initially identified as a bruise. Beltran later described what he had felt as a pinch. The knee was treated with ice and no additional examination was planned. He had been told by the doctors he had suffered no structural damage.

Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.