ST. LOUIS — Right fielder Carlos Beltran was removed from the St. Louis Cardinals' National League Championship Series game against San Francisco with a strained left knee Wednesday.
Beltran rolled into a 4-6-3 double play to end the first inning, then was replaced by Matt Carpenter in the bottom of the inning.
Beltran's condition was listed as day-to-day. Carpenter helped offset Beltran's loss by clubbing a two-run homer in the third against Matt Cain that gave the Cardinals a 2-1 lead.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said Beltran will be re-examined Thursday.
"As he ran down his first at-bat, something caught him in his knee," Matheny said. "We'll know more tomorrow, for sure. But it's (his) left knee --he's had some issues on and off all season, on and off his whole career."
Beltran has been the Cardinals' hottest hitter in the postseason, and his loss for any extended amount of time would be significant.
If the injury proves to be more serious than first believed, Beltran could be removed from the Cardinals' postseason roster. However, he would not be eligible to play if they reach the World Series.
Beltran is batting .400 (12-for-30) in nine postseason games, with five doubles, three home runs and six RBIs.
Beltran is a career .375 hitter (42-for-112) in the postseason, with nine doubles, 14 home runs and 25 RBIs. He never has played in the World Series.
Adam Wainwright, who has a 7.88 ERA in two postseason starts, will pitch Game 4 at 7:07 p.m. Thursday. It will be Wainwright's first career start in an NLCS game.
Wainwright allowed three home runs in 2 1/3 innings against Washington in the deciding Game 5 of the National League Division Series on Friday. Wainwright trailed 6-0 when he departed, but the Cardinals scored four runs in the ninth for a stunning 9-7 victory.
"I'm real excited," Wainwright said of facing the Giants. "Pitching in the postseason is so much fun, it's ridiculous. And our team just picked me up (Friday) and threw me on their back. I didn't do well.
"But I look forward to the next challenge. I look forward to pitching for this team and for this city. I take great pride in that."
Wainwright is looking forward to being back at Busch Stadium. He had a no-decision in his first start at home Oct. 7, a game the Cardinals lost to Washington 3-2. Wainwright had 10 strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.
"I've done everything I can to be prepared for it," Wainwright said. "And I know the team is counting on me to go out and pitch a good game. So I'll be ready."
Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro was in the lineup after suffering a left-hip and knee injury in the first inning of Game 2 on Monday when he was taken out by Matt Holliday's late slide.
"I was looking at maybe 70 to 80 percent that he would play," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "I kept in touch with Dave Groeschner, our trainer, (and) saw Marco (Tuesday) before we traveled, and after talking to him, I could tell in his eyes that he was a lot more optimistic about playing."
Scutaro tested the hip and knee Tuesday during the Giants' workout, going against his doctor's orders.
"He wanted to go out there and take a few swings and test it," Bochy said. "(Tuesday) night, I felt 100 percent that he would be out there (Wednesday)."
Contact reporter David Wilhelm at email@example.com or 239-2665.