Potential callup Gonzales struggles at Triple-A

Potential callup Gonzales struggles at Triple-A

ST. LOUIS -- Pitching back in his native state of Colorado on Thursday, lefty Marco Gonzales was blasted for three homers -- including a grand slam -- over a four-inning outing for Triple-A Memphis. Gonzales was knocked for seven runs on seven hits and two walks in what was his second start back from a three-week layoff due to tightness of his left pectoral muscle.

Gonzales threw 70 pitches against Colorado Springs in the outing, up from 56 pitches in his return five days earlier. Despite the subpar results for Gonzales, Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak noted that the lefty felt fine physically on the mound.

"Without being there to witness it, I do know that that place takes away some of the crispness, so it's hard to read into a line score when you're playing in Denver or Colorado Springs," added manager Mike Matheny. "We also know that guys continue to use situations or starts like that to better themselves, and I don't doubt that's what Marco will do."

While the health news is positive, the results indicate that Gonzales is still not ready for callup consideration. For now, he'll remain with the Triple-A club. Lefty Jaime Garcia, another candidate to take a spot in the Cardinals' rotation, made his second rehab start on Friday for Double-A Springfield. Garcia allowed two runs on six hits over six innings and threw 65 of his 90 pitches for strikes.

• Outfielder Randal Grichuk homered in an extended spring training game on Friday, and he continues to play without discomfort in his lower back. Grichuk, who has been on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back strain since April 17, is flying back to St. Louis and will likely be reinstated Saturday, Mozeliak said during an interview with FOX Sports Midwest on Friday night.

• Right-hander Luke Weaver, the Cardinals' top pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, made his '15 debut on Thursday. Weaver pitched five innings for Class A Advanced Palm Beach and allowed one unearned run on five hits, while striking out two and walking two.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.