It was a few hours after his 13th home run found the seats and he moved into a tie for the league lead that Cardinals outfielder Carlos Beltran admitted Sunday "was one of those days I didn't feel good at the plate."

Good, bad, or just trying to survive — how he feels at the plate isn't the biggest reason he's off to the earliest power surge of his career.

How he feels at the ballpark is.

"I feel healthy," he explained Sunday.

Unencumbered by rehab requirements and lingering knee pain, Beltran has been set free so far this season. His home run Sunday was his sixth in his past six games, and with a .360 average, the six homers, and 13 RBIs in the past six games he's the leading candidate for the league's player of the week award today. The only player in baseball with more homers than Beltran in that stretch is Texas' Josh Hamilton, who is the talk of baseball with nine entering Sunday night's game.

The caution that dictated Beltran's days last year has faded, the pregame treatments and ice-wraps have come off, letting the talent out.