Cards make flurry of pitching moves

Cards make flurry of pitching moves

ST. LOUIS -- Taking advantage of the flexibility September roster expansion affords, the Cardinals summoned another three pitchers from Triple-A Memphis before Wednesday's game against the Nationals, which they lost, 4-3.

Lefty Tyler Lyons arrived to start in place of Michael Wacha in the series finale, fanning six in six innings in a no-decision, and right-hander Miguel Socolovich and left-hander Nick Greenwood joined the club to provide coverage in the bullpen. Manager Mike Matheny acknowledged that the need to use Carlos Villanueva and Mitch Harris for multiple innings on Tuesday led the club to bring three new pitchers up so soon.

Villanueva, who threw 40 pitches in a 3 1/3-inning relief appearance, won't be available again until Friday.

Greenwood made one appearance during a brief July stint in the Majors. He allowed two runs and did not retire a batter in that game. He was optioned back to Memphis after Wednesday's loss so he could finish the Minor League season, which ends on Monday. The Cardinals had added him for the day in case Lyons faltered against the Nationals.

Similarly, Marco Gonzales was optioned to Triple-A on Wednesday, a day after he lasted just 2 2/3 innings in a spot start. He will make one more start for Memphis before the Cardinals consider having him rejoin the big league club.

Socolovich, who signed a Minor League deal with the organization last offseason, has already made a nice Major League impact. In 23 1/3 innings covering two previous callups, he allowed 18 hits and four earned runs. He was scored upon just once in 11 July appearances before being bumped from the bullpen due to the Cardinals' activity at the non-waiver Trade Deadline.

Worth noting
• Jon Jay (stress reaction in left wrist) is expected to come off the disabled list before the Cardinals open a three-game series against the Pirates on Friday. Jay played in three Triple-A games as part of his rehab assignment. Over the last two, he went 4-for-6 with a home run and three runs scored.

Mark Reynolds, who was diagnosed with a contusion in his right wrist after being hit by a pitch on Tuesday, was out of the lineup but available off the bench on Wednesday. He did participate in batting practice before the game.

Matt Holliday (strained right quad) took batting practice with the team on Wednesday but remains limited when it comes to running. The Cardinals have not provided a timeline for his return.

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.