Cardinals call on Butler to join bullpen

ST. LOUIS -- While Keith Butler didn't arrive in time for the Cardinals' epic eight-hour game that extended into early Friday morning, he still had a late night of his own. Butler and his Springfield teammates arrived in Midland, Texas, around 4 a.m. CT for a three-game series with the RockHounds, the A's Double-A affiliate.

But at 7 a.m., Butler, 24, got the call that he was promoted to the big leagues for the first time, replacing Mitchell Boggs, who was optioned to Triple-A Memphis after blowing a save opportunity Thursday night.

Just hours after the five-hour drive from Frisco, Texas to Midland, Butler was on a flight to St. Louis and was available to pitch in Friday's game against the Giants before it was postponed by rain.

"Obviously, [I'm] on a high right now," Butler said Friday afternoon, shortly after arriving at Busch Stadium and receiving his No. 65 uniform. "Got to get that first one [appearance] out of the way and build off that."

Butler made 13 appearances for Springfield this season, surrendering just one run in 13 2/3 innings. He held opposing batters to a .163 average, with eight hits, two walks and 21 strikeouts. When Butler is called on in relief, he will be the eighth Cardinals rookie pitcher to make an appearance this season.

"He's got tough stuff for righties to hang in there on," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "And I'm impressed, as his arm strength seems to have increased since Spring Training. I know he's got good movement on the ball right now.

"Obviously, he's having some success, so we just try to take someone who is doing something well and figure out how we can transplant that here."

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