CHICAGO -- The Cardinals began a series of roster moves following their doubleheader loss to the Cubs on Tuesday, and they continued to tweak the roster a day later with an announcement that the club has purchased the contract of first baseman Dan Johnson.
After the team's 5-3 loss in Game 2 on Tuesday, reliever Marcus Hatley was told that he'd be headed back to Triple-A Memphis. He had two outings during his eight-day callup, including a three-batter appearance in the Cardinals' 7-4 defeat in Game 1. Even with Hatley headed out, the Cards' bullpen will still have seven relievers.
Taking Hatley's place on the 25-man roster will be Johnson, who signed with the organization as a Minor League free agent in May. In 61 games with Memphis, Johnson hit .265 with 11 homers and 42 RBIs.
The Cardinals have not yet announced the corresponding move that will get Johnson onto the team's 40-man roster, which is currently full.
Johnson's arrival will give the Cardinals another option at first base, where they've gotten less-than-desirable offensive production from Mark Reynolds and Xavier Scruggs since starting first baseman Matt Adams suffered a quad injury in late May.
Also, with Kolten Wong dealing with concussion symptoms after a Tuesday tumble, the Cards need the flexibility to send Reynolds across the diamond to third base while Matt Carpenter fills in at second.
The Cardinals also sent out lefty Tyler Lyons, who was active for Tuesday's doubleheader as one-day 26th-man addition to the roster. If the club wants Lyons to make Sunday's start in Pittsburgh, he will be recalled on that date. The Cards' other option is to stick with Tim Cooney for Sunday. If he's the choice, he'll remain on the roster. If not, the Cardinals will send Cooney back to Triple-A on Wednesday, as well.
The Cardinals entered Tuesday knowing roster decisions were on the way. With Jaime Garcia sidelined until after the All-Star break, the Cards intended to watch Lyons and Cooney make their respective starts against the Cubs and then determine who would start for the club against Pittsburgh this weekend.
Lyons walked five and allowed seven hits, but tiptoed around damage for most of his 5 2/3-inning start. He allowed just two runs, those coming on Chris Denorfia's two-out single in the third.
"I had a lot of baserunners today, whether it was hits, walks, whatever it was," said Lyons, who is 2-1 with a 5.02 ERA in six spot starts this year. "Fortunately, I was able to limit the damage a lot of the time. Preferably, I'd like to have some clean innings."
Cooney had his best start in three Major League appearances, as he limited the Cubs to one run on three hits in 5 1/3 innings in Game 2. He walked just one and showcased an especially effective changeup.
"I felt comfortable," Cooney said. "I felt at ease and I felt like I was just out there competing. That's good. The nerves are starting to go away."